Usually there are two firings in the process of producing a finished piece, a bisque firing then a firing which gives the finished surface that is wished for. Not me, no, I am only happy if I am building up layers of colour with multiple firings. I fire my porcelain three times in total and now it would seem I am doing the same with my smoke firing, three, maybe four more likely!
What a lot of smoke firing has been done over the past week, two lots, each fired three times! First smoke firing too black, made the pots look heavy, so made the next firing a little hotter with hardwood shavings, well that burnt too quickly and left all the pots predominately white!! Third time lucky? It was!
Fabulous reds….oh yes! My final smoke firing had reached and acheived all I was hoping.
Next came my large shell, the one I was hoping to be my main piece for the showcase in Theatr Clwyd, I had left it a bit close, but undetered I ventured once more into the smoky depths of my bin, not once, not twice but once again three times! I had less than twenty four hours left to polish, photograph and catalogue, it had been a risk but worth the wait.
Building up layers of colour with multiple firings certainly pays off, with each firing I learnt about how the smoke, heat and flames created by the combustables I use affect my work, painting each piece and leaving its unique marks.