Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Painting with Fire

I had a couple of fairly big orders for pit-fired pots to fill. A couple of years ago I got this old beater wood stove in a trade for some fishing flies. It has lots of fire brick in it and it weighs a ton. The damper is broken and inside it is a bit of a mess. Would be VERY dangerous in a building. I put a three foot chimney on it with a spark arrester and parked it by our new shop (and close to the door of my pottery). Works great for the 'pit fires'.
The photos tell the story. Wrap the pots with their goodies, salt, seaweed, copper and handfuls of fireweed, place on a good layer of ash, add lots of thin wood, newspaper and light. I prop the door so it is open about half an inch. When the first batch of wood is burned down a bit I refill it. Takes about three hours for the burn, then about 8 to cool enough to take the pots in the house. I stack them on my cookstove until there are 50 or so then wash them, leave them overnight to dry, then apply a coat of Future floor wax. Then they are signed with a permanant gold marker pen and priced, the most difficult job of all.
It was nice to take them into Whitehorse today after work. Hopefully I can take the ones to Skagway on Monday. Time to start making for the next wood firing.

No comments: