Friday, November 18, 2011

wood(stove) fired pottery

I was staring out the window the other day, looking at the fire pit in the backyard and thinking about how I'd like to get some pottery fired before it got too cold out.  The woodstove plinked in the background, chugging away on this chilly day.  The plinking means the fire is especially hot and the plink, plink, plinks, eventually got my attention.  I turned around and looked at my woodstove in a new way.  (cue the romantic music)

Some of the clay beads I made were dry and ready to be fired so I figured I'd just pop one or two in the stove and see what happened.  They popped like popcorn.  Hmm.  Um, that's not what I wanted.  Not to be deterred, I took a couple more and let them warm up above the fire for an hour before I placed them in the stove.  This time I put them away from the direct flame and built a fire on top of them.  A few hours later after the fire had died down I pulled out two fired beads.  Hooray!

I was so excited I had to try again, this time putting in more beads, and the smallest of my little pinch pots.  I was a little nervous about the pot, thinking that if it were to explode and break the glass on the stove, my husband would find my shenanigans far from amusing.

Once again I let the pieces warm up before carefully placing them in the stove.  I built a good hot fire over them, and continued to add wood while this batch fired.  A few hours later I dug the pot, beads, and a few small pieces from the ashes.

I don't know how hot my woodstove gets so I can't say for certain, but the beads didn't soften when left in water so I'm going to call them bisque-fired.  The black parts aren't soot, they're reduction marks from the firing process and are permanent.  I love them!  I made these as stringing beads for my daughter but now I don't know.  I might like to string them and wear them.

I decided to use the tiny pinch pot as a planter for one of my succulent cuttings.

I think I'll fire the rest of the pinch pots out in the fire pit, but there's a good chance there will be more beads in the woodstove soon.  Plink, plink, plink...

Have a good and warm weekend everyone.


Brittan said...

such a fantastic project, i am happy to see that everything came out of the fire in tact! do use clay that you collect, or do you get it from a store? i think your new pinch pots are fantastic, i love the detail!!!
can't wait to see more :)


Diane Sullivan Photography said...

These are beutiful! I had a feeling this is what you were up to. Experimentation can bring all sorts of wonderful surprises. Continue to have fun!!

There are some fun things you can add to the fire to give you some color variations in a plain clay body. If you goggle you can find all sorts of ideas for that.



Lisa at lil fish studios said...

Brittan - I use clay that I dug from my yard. I took a woodland pottery class this fall where I learned to slake, ammend, and fire the clay. I loved it so much that I've had to keep playing. :)

Diane - I have been reading and it is so exciting! So.many.possibilities!!

Anonymous said...

To keep your pieces from breaking you did the correct thing, Pottery needs to fire in a gradually increasing heat or the water inside the clay will turn to steam and explode. If you have the oppurtunity to put the clay pieces in the stove before building the fire and let them gradually heat up as you add wood and let the fire get hotter and hotter. Several hours or overnight in the fire should do the trick.

Anonymous said...

That is just so cool. I love the look of the beads! Have to give it a try some time. Would like to try to get some clay out of the MN river at work. I would love to take that class. I hope they offer it again.


Anita Chadwick said...

Wow. You are so very inspiring! I think you should add some to your shop; they are just gorgeous. Have fun playing!

yolie said...

don't know how i found you but those beads stopped me dead in my tracks! gorgeousness...i'm looking at my fireplace in a whole new light.
beautiful things here.

Alina S. Tarmu said...

This is amazing! I loved stoves but now I worship them (in true Vestala fashion :D , I guess).
The beads are simply gorgeous! And so are the pinch pots!

lynn bowes said...

you never fail to inspire and impress

Margie Oomen said...

i just can't find the words to describe just how amazing you are

Lisa-Marie said...

Lisa, this is how people made small thing in past times (I forget what'age' but I will come back and re-comment when I remember) when they didn't have a village/town kiln.

What you have done is both ancient and new, and that is VERY cool. :)

Erin said...

Oh look at the rich colours you got!! So gorgeous and so happy for you!

Brittan said...

that is so amazing, lisa! you create such wonderful things! one of my projects that i will get to one day (which preferably requires some clay) is to build a mud oven so i can cook outside on it all year long! i have a friend who makes them, i think she partially focused on them as part of her going back to college work. trying to get her out here to help! so amazing!

Anonymous said...

These are amazing--I especially love the little pinch pot.

Now you've got me looking at my own woodstove in a whole new way.

Bricolente said...

I love your little planter !
J'adore ton blog.

traceyo said...

In the old Foxfire books of the '70s, there's an article about making your own glaze from coke bottles. Always wanted to try it.

ottoblotto said...

Really interesting experiment with pit firing.I think I will give it a try as well.


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