Thursday, 8 April 2010

Getting There!

On Tuesday I took a ride out to get the vital kiln shelves and materials...
And a few tools to replace the rusty and worn-out ones, boxwood modelling tools to replace some horrible plastic ones. Off the shelf glazes and a few glaze materials to mix a couple more. I've hardly ever used ready-made glazes before, but now, if ever, is the time. I'm aiming for a slightly lower stoneware firing too. Call it saving the planet, or call it saving on electricity bills. one of those.  I came home £450:00 poorer. That's almost 690 dollars.
Last time I was buying materials for thjs much money we were talking almost two tons of clay and dry materials in 25 kilo bags.. (50lb)...
This tucked away in the back of the Land-Rover with a lot of room to spare.
Sigh. This is the 21st century, get used to it.
One of my favourite pottery books is Dennis Park's Potters guide to Raw Glazing and Waste-Oil Firing.

He gets great results, and unashamedly says he does it because he's cheap. He reckons a shovelful of any dirt and a shovelful of ash is pretty much always a  viable glaze. He fires on the oil drained out of crankcases at service-time, and glazes without bisc firing, using tumbleweed ash and mine-tailings. (In Tuscarora, Nevada, high desert, abandoned mining towns).


  1. He gets great results, and unashamedly says he does it because he's cheap.
    I think imagination does way more for art then money & I'm talking about imagination in materials. IMO, Any art form worth it's salt involves some type of home grown "scientific innovation" This was how the pyramids were built, don't cha know?

    BTW, What is the round thing wrapped in bubble wrap?

  2. That's a lot of money. I thought you said you could do the same thing with dirt.

    I love your international writing,

  3. Rita. The round thing is a kiln shelf. I need to make myself a little rack for them, because they're expensive and easy to damage. Far safer to put them down on a wooden rack than a concrete floor!

    Yes, there's more to it than cheap, but Dennis' system was originally based on having limited funds, so using what he could source for free or recycle.
    And what he discovered was that waste oil fires just as well as expensive split hardwoods, with a lot less work.
    Ashes have been used in glazes, along with dirt for many generations, Dennis Parks' methods would be nothing without his vision as an artist.

  4. Max, I wish I could do the same thing with dirt. Dennis Parks does this in a remote bit of Nevada. I can't have a stinky flame-belching kiln around here. The city authorities would swoop, talons outstretched, and peck out my liver if I tried it.

  5. I googled Dennis Parks hoping to see lots of examples of his pottery. I found some beautiful & interesting art <a href=">like this</a> artist Ron Arthaud. But not any good examples of Dennis Parks works.
    Anyhow...I think it's very nice that you are able to explore your creative side & "make art". I'm always happiest when I have some kind of project in the works.

  6. I went there, saw those

    I'd never have tought to look at a heap of old oil drums, or a rusty shed roof as a source of a painting.. but Ron Arthaud does, and I love it. I'd have those paintings on my wall.
    When I read Dennis' book, the landscapes, the abandoned buildings, the mines, I wanted to go see.
    I'm drawn to less-populated places, i love old things, traces of the past, and those abandoned mining towns appeal to me.

  7. hurray! it's a pretty site indeed... all that raw material, all that potential. have fun

  8. Can I have a new teapot, please?


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