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Events

 

 

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Pit Firing Days 2018 at Ken Palmer’s.

 

Unfortunately, the actual fire activities of our usual Pit-Firing Day in July had to be postponed because the surrounding ground was so dry that it would have been irresponsible to have deliberately started playing with fire.   We still managed to glaze last year’s Nursery Rhymes project and focused on our self-portraits.   However, fortunately for myself, there was a mishap in the firing of the new clay work and they all blew up.  My self-portrait was not flattering so I was quite relieved when I heard of its demise.   I’m so sorry for all the others who spent time producing very proficient works of art.  There were so many pieces of pottery wrapped up with copper carbonate, seaweed, orange peel, pot scrubbers and wire wool waiting for the firing that we have had to carry out two pit firings in the end.   I think we are starting to get the hang of it now and are managing to create a good layer of embers without wasting the energy of loads of wood.  It is possible that Ken has enough wood for at least the next ten years, or more.  From observing the results of the firings, I am still of the opinion that newspaper is the best material to wrap the pots in, rather than aluminium foil, for a pit firing.  Also, it is definitely better to burnish the surface of the clay pieces to obtain the best results.  Although the pots look good in the final photographs, they will look even better after they have been washed and polished with soft beeswax.  Certainly, this is a very popular annual event in the MPA calendar and we must thank Ken and Mary who work so hard each time and allow us to invade ‘The Courtyard’ and take over the conservatory and workshop area not to mention the kitchen and garden.  Also, a big thank you must go to Giles who travels more than half an hour each time to build and prepare the actual pit.  It was well thought-out and enabled the flame to pass down into the depths of the pit.  Long may we be able to continue playing with fire.

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