Studio :: Packing The Drum

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The first batch of test pots are now wrapped and ready for pit firing. They have copper wire wrapped around them to hold the colorant elements tight. This includes different kinds of kelp, seaweed, cornhusk, and other assorted items which when held close to the surface will influence the color of the finished product. Three are wrapped in foil, or what's called a saggar, which holds elements even closer to the surface of the pot.

These six pots will be then loaded into a 55 gallon oil drum that has a sawdust bed inside. They will be buried up to a certain level and then pine needles, hard wood, and more sawdust will be added until the drum is full. 

A little kerosene and a match and pesto … the firing will begin. 

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At this point we use small pieces of hardwood placed across each other to start adding volume to the drum. More sawdust is added as well. There are multiple levels of hardwood, needles, pine cones, narrow sticks, and lump hardwood added until we reach about four inches from the top.

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At this point a few extra sprinkles of sawdust are added and a cover of fine mesh wire screen is added to keep sparks at a minimum. The whole process took about forty five minutes. 

We'll wait a few days for the marine layer to come back in to help with keeping the evil forces at bay.

marc fredric gottula