Smoke Fired Ceramics

Really excited about my new discovery I immediately set about preparing for my first experiment.

I hand spun 1 sheet of handmade wrapping paper on a drop spindle…

SpunPaper

Using the spun paper I made a couple of paper baskets…

PaperBasket

I covered them (as well as a couple of other samples) in clay, when they were ‘leather’ dry I burnished them with the back of a spoon. This compacts the clay as well as creating a smooth and shiny surface.

clayCovering

I packed all of my samples into our barbeque with sawdust, I also added salt as apparently this helps the colour to be taken up. I put kindling onto the top and using lighter fluid I lit it. As soon as it was burning well I shut the lid making sure that the vent was open in the top, and left it over night slowly burning away…

Barbeque

In the morning, anticipating some possible breakages, I cautiously went to look. After taking each out and cleaning them I gave the smooth surface a polish with some furniture wax…

BurnishedPolished

The surface suffered some popping of the clay from possible tiny air bubbles or moisture but I actually really love these. They remind me of skulls with trepanning.

Claytexture

The spun paper has produced a really good texture as well.

BurnishedPolished2I am super excited by these first tests and feel really encouraged to continue.

Each of the pieces have a ancient bone like quality, the colour feels appropriate and the technique reminds us of cremation and the disappearance of what was there.

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