It’s summer and time to throw some pots on the barbecue! Yes indeed, your trusty old Weber grill, the little round one on three legs that you might have left sitting in your garage when you upgraded your outdoor kitchen, can have a second life as a mini-kiln. If you don’t have a kiln but still want to fire some pots—or you have an electric kiln but you’d like to do some smoke-firing without digging a fire-pit in your yard or alarming the neighbors too much—the grill is a surprisingly versatile alternative.
Sumi von Dassow is an expert on alternative firing techniques as well as an accomplished ceramics instructor and seasoned writer. Her latest book and DVD give you all the information you need to pick up many exciting low-tech pottery techniques.
In today’s video, an excerpt from her new DVD Pit Firing and Burnishing, Sumi von Dassow demonstrates how to mix and apply terra sigillata to burnish into a beautiful sheen.
Today, in an excerpt from her new book Low Firing and Burnishing, Sumi Von Dassow explains how potter Edgeworth Barnes fires his pottery in aluminum foil saggars with great results.
In today’s post, an excerpt from her new book Low Firing and Burnishing, Sumi Von Dassow explains the basics of burnishing pottery, from the tools to use, to a couple of basic techniques.
Mixing ceramic glazes from scratch can be intimidating to those just getting started. And sometimes it just isn’t practical or possible to purchase or have access to an accurate gram scale. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that mixing glazes is out of the question. As Sumi Von Dassow explains in today’s post, mixing ceramic glazes with a volumetric recipe can be a great way to get your feet wet and learn more about ceramic glaze materials in the process. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.
I think we’ve all heard it said that the simplest solution is the best. And while I always make it a rule to never deal in absolutes, today’s tip does seem to prove this adage true. Brought to us by Sumi von Dassow, this surface-decoration technique involves just a few tools and materials that I’ll bet you already have in your studio. And like most simple techniques, a little experimentation can result in many new ways to add interest and depth to your work. But Sumi doesn’t stop there; she also includes some general tips for working with wax resist, and these will help you regardless of which wax technique you use. Enjoy!
This Ceramics Monthly Handbook reflects the keen interest in pit firing and related techniques. The artists included here were carefully selected to illustrate the wide range of approaches to barrel, pit, and saggar firing. Works ranging from wheel-thrown and coil-built pots to complex sculpture are tied together by a similarity in the firing process. Originally published in 2001, Barrel, Pit, and Saggar Firing is now available as a downloadable PDF. Imagine what ancient practitioners of firing would think of your easy computer access to such a wealth of creative ideas?
This book is a must-read for anyone involved in creating ceramics with an electric kiln. It will provide inspiration for your creative journey and will help you discover the virtue and versatility of the electric kiln.