Archive for December, 2010

Other Ways To Do Pit/Smoke Firing

Monday, December 13th, 2010

When I first started this blog four years ago, I had a very simple goal — to share my then developing pit/smoke firing know-how with others, one discovery at a time.

Now, four years later, I have managed to file quite a few posts with enough pragmatic details for others to use as reference, or even as a starter framework for their own pit firing experiments.

One thing has not changed much, though. My firing approach remains very specific to a rather personal obsession, a mad scientist-like urge to understand how different fuming effects can be arrived at with any given fuming material or firing process.

books on pit/smoke firing

figure 1: books on pit/smoke firing

To that end, my emphasis is on achieving a broad range of surface colors and effects; and it’s no coincidence that the primary form I’ve chosen for these experiment is a simple, anonymous, and unassuming river rock form — which essentially serves as a neutral canvas to receive fuming marks, and which will not call attention to itself and distract the viewer’s focus from those fuming effects.


Studio Flood — and a New Beginning

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Once again I have fallen far behind in posting here. Earlier this year, I devised a plan to spend the summer focusing on more pit fire experiments, as well as documenting results from last year’s firings and publishing them as new blog posts here. Alas, life had its own priorities and requirements, and as a result I didn’t get to start the first firing of the year until well into the last week of July. But the worst was still to come.

oil on paper from art student days in the 80s

figure 1: oil on paper from my art student days

On the 3rd day of September, disaster struck. The hot water heater in the house attached to my studio building broke, while the tenants were away on a camping trip, and the studio became flooded with 3 to 4 inches of warm standing water. To make a long story short, I spent the rest of September salvaging what could be salvaged, and getting rid of what could not be or were not worth salvaging. In the process of doing so, I found myself getting reaquainted with some old, old artwork from my art student days, dating back to the early 80’s (figure 1, 2, and 3.)