Firing Day

I’m going to drum fire two ceramic figures today – it will be a first!

I am going to sagger each figure in foil to protect them and to see how the organic materials I am adding might colour the figures.


I wrapped two lengths of ceramic insulating fabric around the steel drum just above the second air vent, securing the fabric in place with galvanised wire. I plan to pull the fabric down to cover the air vents, and place the lid on the drum, once the fire is really going. Firing time is about 4 hours and will then leave it all to cool completely before removing the figures.

1. The ceramic figures

  • Wrapped fresh and dry banana peels around each figure securing with a bronze wire.
  • Base layer of foil and a layer of sawdust – this will create a black colour where the sawdust touches the ceramic.
  • Added pieces of rusted steel, table salt and copper sulphate.
  • Sealed the foil wrapping to make a parcel

2. Into the drum!

  • The steel drum is large – added sawdust to the level of the second air vent.
  • Put the two foil-wrapped figures into the sawdust.
  • Trailed three spirit-soaked lengths of fabric into the drum.
  • Placed layer of wood pieces in and around the bin about 30cm below the surface.
  • Lit the fire by lighting the fabric lengths.
  • As the fire grew I added more wood.
  • Once the fire was really going I pulled the ceramic insulating fabric down over the air vents and place the lid over  the top. Ideally I would have a chimney lid but I don’t!

I have left it over night (about 18 hours) and will see how things work out tomorrow!…..

Another interesting YouTube film about sawdust kiln firing




2 thoughts on “Firing Day

  1. You are amazing Molly- so creative & so many projects! I see you still have your Rayburn stove in situ so you can dry your creations.

    Oh I do think of you often but seems time is still not mine to do much! I am still trying to sort through the huge collections of “things” Scotty purchased over many years! I went OK for about 4 months & have sent in 400 items from books , furniture, Chinese artifacts, Toby Jugs oh so much & still more to come! but ran out of stream & can’t look at another piece of Silver to clean or tissue paper to wrap things in! I take a photo of each object & identify item ( although some are a challenge!) & then pack up to go to a auction place . Don’t get much $ but it is a better than nothing. Antiques are not wanted by the new generations.

    I am looking @ building next door where Mum lived “Pollys”. all will have to be bull dozed. Talking to a builder at present. I will have Scotty’s orchard with too many trees etc but still not as much year round work as my present garden. Did I tell you I sold the other house next door & police couple moved in. Nice but the garden is dying but that is their choice! I really have to reduce the garden & house & both Antony & I are a bit “ over it”. Can’t go away when hot as garden needs to be attended to. I really thought I could manage & stay here but without my soulmate nothing is the same & I miss him so much. We both feel it would be good if we ( not together) could just jump in car & head off for a break without thinking!

    I do like this little spot (looking at a plan just for me & long term to avoid retirement village!- ) with the sea just at doorstep it is lovely – afraid it has been so hot that I haven’t been walking on the beach. Terrible bush fires in Victoria last few days so praying for rain. Is Sam back in UK? Have caught up with a friend from boarding school days – she lives about 5 hrs drive from here but has children/ grandchildren not far from me. I have the air conditioner on – thank goodness there is meant to a cooler week ahead after 38 /39 – crazy & Adelaide even worse weather. Must hit the sack. Lots love 💕 Sent from my iPhone



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