Sawdust Firing

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Blackfiring: Saggar Bonfire

My most recent saggar bonfire was two weeks ago on the 16th November… we needed to clean up the underbrush from the property for the summer season, and whenever that happens I don’t pass up the opportunity to put some small works into the fire.

I am very happy with the outcomes, and will be making jewellery with the finished beads once I return from Italy. I am also happy with the little experimental teabowls I fired, and will definitely be doing more of those little gems.

The photo gallery below shows images of the process and step by step descriptions of the process. Click on the image for a larger view.



Successful Day in the Studio

So, regular readers will remember a saggar bonfire firing I did a few weeks ago: finally assembled the jewellery pieces that emerged from that firing today!! AND am very happy with the results 🙂

Of course photography is hard, but if you look closely at these pieces, some exhibit a slight “oil slick” finish on the surface which I consider highly prized.

The largest pendent on the right has been detailed with some recycled tin which I use in big corrugated iron sheets to cover my pit firings.

I also assembled some earrings that I fired in my gas kiln last week: the earrings feature a beautiful stoneware dry barium glaze that exhibits a range of tonal variety depending on the glaze thickness. I am also very happy with them.

This jewellery will eventually make it my Etsy store, unless it sells beforehand: sales enquiries via this blog are welcome… as I have previously stated on this blog: I don’t want to have to work in a supermarket, so support artists 🙂


Fine Art America Prints: you can buy them now!!

I have had a few images on Fine Art America for a little while now, mainly of my ceramic environmental installations and macro shots of the textured surfaces of my ceramic sculptures.

Most recently I have added some images of “fire” captured during the saggar bonfire of jewellery beads I did just before Christmas.

These images can be purchased as canvas prints, fine art prints, acrylic prints, framed prints and greeting cards.

This may all sound a bit capitalist & selling my soul… but I’d rather work and make money as an artist than get a job in a supermarket… so advertise, advertise, advertise!!

If you’d like me NOT to get a job in a supermarket check out the Fine Art America site…

The following images illustrate  the “fire” shots most recently added 🙂


Saggar Bonfire Firing: The Process and the Results

I haven’t posted for a little while: Christmas, New Year hecticness (if that’s a word- it is now). So, the following slideshow illustrates the process of a pyromania exercise I posted a little before Christmas:

Living on a 10 acre rural property some summer bush fire maintenance was called for, so a burn off was the order of the day: as a ceramisict this is an opportunity to go pyromaniac!! As it just happened I had some hand rolled beads in the studio… lets saggar fire them !! GREAT!! The slideshow below shows the process… descriptions of the process photos can be found on my Facebook page.

I intend to make more beads and fire them this way. They will eventually find their way to my Etsy store …

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I am not a Pyromaniac!! Just a Potter…

Last night I experimented with a small above ground bonfire firing in which I placed some hand rolled jewellery beads into an old coffee can used as a saggar. The following slideshow features some nice pictures of the the “fire”.  Photos of the actual saggar bonfire process will be posted soon…

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Finished Pit Fired Sculptures…

Two of the completed sculptures from the sawdust and pit firing: much pain later!! Very happy with the colour results and the assemblage of the pieces, though difficult with an injured finger, has turned out really well :-)) All the work is now complete for the exhibition (pics to come), including painted plinths! First thing in the morning delivery to Gallery on Sturt , then off to the doctors to assess the stitched up finger.

Sawdust Black Firing: Results

Following are images of the sawdust black firing I did yesterday, luckily I squeezed it in between rain downpours. The rain began again about 2 hours after I unloaded the pit. I am happy with the results, and hopefully the pit firing will go equally as well, as the top part of these sculptures are the pit fired components, which you can check out in the Works in Progress category.
Also loaded the kiln for a glaze firing tomorrow, also works for the exhibition, so fingers crossed.

Sawdust Black Firing: Slideshow

Today is Thursday… Last Sunday I was preparing to do a pit firing which included works for an upcoming exhibition to be held in 1 1/2 weeks. As part of my preparations I  wrap some works in scourer wire. I was pulling apart some scourer wire, using a fair bit of strength… my gloves were on the workbench, not on my hands… when I found out just how sharp these fine wires actually are!! I garroted my finger and thank goodness for the bone getting in the way of the wire and saving my finger from being completely cut off!!

Within minutes I was in the car on the way to the hospital… blood pouring everywhere. Triage rushed me straight through emergency, and as it turned out I had cut an artery, hence all the gushing gore.

Because I had been in the process of doing a pit firing, I happened to have my camera around my shoulders for documentary purposes. Once I cut my finger the camera remained as grabbed my finger and would not let go! Once the doctor pried my hand free my partner commandeered the camera and began taking happy snaps.  I will spare you those photos, although the ones taken once the finger had been torniqued are not too gorey!

Anyway 6 stitches later, and quite a few pain killers, cut to today:

Garroted finger or not, the show must go on, meaning the exhibition in 1.5 weeks!! So following is a slideshow of the sawdust firing I did today. The results will not be known until tomorrow, although there was lots of smoke billowing from the pit, which is a good sign. The idea is to obtain black smoked surfaces on the bases of  some of the sculptures which you can check out in the “works in progress” category… enjoy!!

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This work by Dawn Whitehand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.