Thursday 8 August 2013

Wood Firing - Temper, Temper

A good wood firing unloaded, a great batch of pots, many made for the Hengistbury pottery project.
More information and images at this link

This firing was an interesting exercise, only taken to 1000C, instead of the usual 1300C, with earthenware rather than stoneware clays. It was a much easier single handed firing that took 12 hours from early morning to dusk.
Some pots are wasters, the locally dig clay having not coped with temperatures above 950C and a couple of bases blown - too thickly potted and too quickly fired close to where the flames enter the chamber.

Although stoneware glazed wares are more attractive in my eyes, perhaps I should turn to more sustainable (i.e. cheaper!) ways of potting, such as these earthenware vessels. But is there a market for them? They are sort of less functional, but I could develop a range of glazes or just sell them as unglazed vessels - the larger urns make very sculptural forms which can be used as containers for ritual deposits (for example waste paper bins!), with some very attractive tonal differences and the added tempers give some great surface textures.
Tempers are ground up materials added to clays to help them perform better, while constructing, firing and using the pots. I sometimes feel the need for tempers myself - usually liquid refreshments!

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