|Monthly Tech-Tip |
The work of Pierre Aupilardjuk and John Kurok from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada. They are visiting the Medalta International Artists in Residence program in Alberta during the fall of 2016 to demonstrate their firing technique. First they sculpt the pieces from a medium temperature stoneware (lightly grogged body), then dry and apply terra sigilata. Finally they bisque them. Next they carefully stack items into a 45 gallon drum with fine wood chips filling all spaces. The drum has an expanded metal mesh a few inches up from the bottom, this creates an air space (holes around the outside of this airspace allow air in from the bottom). They light the wood on fire at the top and put the lid on. This burns for a couple days (a hole in the lid permits enough ventilation to enable the wood to slowly burn and smoke. The black finish is glossy and clean.
The use of some traditional firing techniques is still popular among modern potters and sculptors (who are accustomed electric and gas kilns, often with computer controllers).