Lately we’ve been working on our woodfire kiln. It’s actually a small test kiln inspired by japanese anagama. We fired it for three times, the results were better after every next firing, but the kiln fell a part after the last try, so probably we’ll not be able to fire it again. Anyway our plan for the future is to build a bigger kiln made of bricks.
It’s a special expedition every time we go woodfiring. We go to Kozarisce, where we used to live and where we started with our ceramics. There is David’s grandmothers house in this rural area of Slovenia. Kozarisce is a small village with a big castle surrounded by wast woods. Wild animals live in the woods and also the brown bear. Better not go to far in the woods at night! Ha ha!
It’s a few days project every time we are firing. Preparations have to be made, put the kiln together, make some improvements with the fire place, prepare the pieces and loading. Usually it takes one day. Since we go there together with our daughter, David does most of the “fire work”.
Here are some results of firing, we reached 1230 °C and the total firing time was 24 hours in the first attempt and 28 hours in the last attempt.
This glaze is made of clay that our friend brought from the volcanic island of Madeira. The surface is brownish with spotts and when applied in thin layer it comes out darker, it’s matt and it doesn’t flow at firing temperature of 1250 ºC.
On this bowl (top to bottom): iron glaze, chalk glaze and Madeira slip
Slip made of Madeira clay
Madeira slip, the back mug is darker because the slip is applied in thin layer
Last week we went to Strunjan where salt is still produced in traditional salt pans. Strunjan’s salt pans are actually a part of Sečovlje Salina Nature Park. There we picked up some dirt that we found around salt-fields, so we would use it as glaze. Last year we picked up some dirt in Sečovlje salt pans and use it as glaze which came out great. So we tought the glaze from Strunjan’s dirt will be the same, but actually the Strunjan Salina glaze is completely different. It’s brownish and it gets glossy when applied in thick layer. We like it! And we will use it in the future, maybe we combine it with other glazes as well.
Strunjan salt pans
David and Vita picking up dirt around salt pans
And the results:
Strunjan Salina glaze on tester
Inside of a bowl
Strunjan Salina glaze on black stoneware, David applied the dirt in a very thick layer (with his hands, no brush!)