122 pages, 85 images & 13 kiln plans.This book is a personal interpretation of the development of stoneware wood firing technology as practised by artist-potters in Australia during the fourty years from the early nineteen fifties through to the early nineteen nineties. It deals with the history, the major personalities and their influences, the technologies used and their origins, the kiln designs evolved and the firing techniques developed.An important factor in the development of wood firing by artist potters during this period was the particular nature of the Australian native clays and timbers used by the pioneering figures, and their attempts to come to terms with the technology needed to utilise these endemic resources aesthetically. The evolution of new styles has been based on imported European and Oriental archetypes interfacing with Australian native materials and social attitudes.Up to the present time there has not been a concerted attempt to detail the technology of stoneware wood firing. The central theme of this book is the analysis of the technologies involved in the creative wood firing process. I have been lucky enough to accumulate during my working lifetime, numerous illustrations and photographs of a variety of wood fired kilns, which, to the best of my knowledge are collected together and published here for the first time.
LAID BACK WOOD FIRING
58 pages, 40 illustrations, 12 kiln plans, + CD with 120 colour images.This little booklet was first published in 1977 in an edition of 500 copies in a green cover and reprinted soon after in 1978 in an edition of 3500 in a blue cover. This edition has been updated, revised and considerably enlarged, in fact almost triple the original publication.Although it is my intention that it should still remain a small kiln-side handbook as a guide for the potter who has not fired a down draught fire box (Bourry) kiln before, or has little experience of it. If you have not seen a kiln with a down draught firebox before it may seem strange to be told that the fire burns 'up side down'. The wood being introduced at the top of the firebox, the fire is suspended half way up in the air, and the flames leaving at the bottom to pass into the kiln. This is however exactly the case when the fire box is burning at full fire and I therefore felt that a small booklet that introduced and explained the concept might have some currency. That was a quarter of a century ago and it seems I was right. This little book (as it has now become) also attempts to shed some light on the history and development of the up side down fire box, although only briefly, as its main function is as a guide on how to understand the firebox and offer possible explanations as to what may happen to you during a firing and what you might do about it to keep control of the process.I also offer a few kiln plans at the end to illustrate the kinds of kilns that might be fired by the down draught firebox. This section is by no means exhaustive. It is not meant to be a step by step guide on how to cut and lay firebricks
54 pages, 37 images, 12 illustrations.My principal reason for collecting and processing my own raw materials, an interest that I have pursued over the last 30 years, is two-fold.Firstly, I have a deeply held belief in a theory of locality, which I call the 'location specific event' which, if you have read any of my other writings, you will be familiar with (see Australian Woodfiring). So there is no need to elaborate on it here.Secondly, it is to strike a blow against the trend towards a global pottery style, where a majority of potters around the world end up using all the same ceramic ingredients. An oligopoly of ceramic material manufacturers using the same colours, frits etc. China clay is sourced from New Zealand, bentonite from Mexico, nepheline syenite from Canada. Where one ingredient is found to be very good, it is shipped all over the world and every ones work has the same basic look and feel. I am happy to seek out 'inferior'? local raw ingredients for my pots, for my food and for my wine. I think its called character. It certainly won't be the best in the world, it may not even be very good in comparison to the 'best' but it's what happens here, with this stuff. It's my belief that if you work with a material long enough you will find a way to express its personality, and beauty. Some of the chapters include; A Brief Introduction to Geology for Potters,An Overview of Rock Crushers, Flotation-A Remarkable Method Of Refining Useful Minerals. Empirical Blending, a fast method of establishing the alumina silica ratio of your rock, and finding the 'sweet-spot' recipe that will give the best result from your rock.Basic Glaze Chemistry and an A3, fold out, colour coded, Periodic Table.
Hot & Sticky Pty Ltd
5 Railway Pde
Ph/Fax 02 4889 8479 (from within Australia)
Ph/Fax +61 2 4889 8479 (from outside Australia)
You can purchase the books by credit card, cheque or money order. Just e-mail Steve for details at:
The prices are as follows;
Australian Woodfiring AU$80Purchase books about glazes by Ian Currie.
Laid Back Wood Firing AU$40
Rock Gazes AU$40