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.

Process

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