Experiment of firing clay in sawdust.
This experiment – research and explorations of clay firing techniques was done as part of my MArch Architecture second year architecture portfolio.
I did two firings of my clay pieces in sawdust, which are shown in two separate picture galleries at the bottom of this post. Each firing lasted around 15-20 hours. The second firing was reaching around 500-600 degrees celsius. I did not have a pyrometer during my first firing leaving me unsure of the correct temperature during that firing.
It was my first attempt to fire clay in a self made kiln. The experiment took place in Worthing, England at the beginning of January 2014.
The kiln was built from 80 firebricks inside a pit. The weather conditions were at my disadvantage, hence the covering from rain can be seen in some of the photos.
Some clay objects were sprayed with salt, some burnished with a spoon to achieve a glossy surface, some pieces were covered with orange peel, leaves and other combustibles, some were fired inside a flower pot filled with combustibles, some were just put in sawdust without any special application.
I believe the best result was achieved during the second firing. The piece which was inside a flower pot filled with combustibles (orange peel, tea and some leaves) achieved a yellowish carbonization in the place where it was covered with orange peel.
After the two firings the kiln was dismantled in order to use the fire bricks for a second experiment – making an electric kiln powered by electric fire elements, which will be described on a separate post.
Firing No. 1
Firing No. 2