The first firing after John rebuilt our above ground pit was disappointing. Where were the colors? we wondered. The pots were darker than we expected, and our ‘students’ were ok with the results, but we could tell they were disappointed, too.
So we thought and thought, was it the wood ie the type, the bark the amount. Was it the sawdust? Did we let the fire burn too long or not enough?
Finally John put it all together and decided that we had too much carbon and not enough oxygen, too much reduction gets everything BLACK.
Which is ok, of course, if that’s what we wanted. But we like the creamy colors, the subtly, the pinks and greens. So, John got out his industrial drill and drilled holes in the bricks all around the pit, to allow a bit more air.
And of course, it worked. The pots were colorful and we were all happier.
Now to solve the problem of breakage. We have been experiencing a higher rate of breakage, especially John’s larger pieces. This is seriously troubling, and one we must solve in the next week. We have a commission and the pit has to perform as we want.
So, the lesson here is don’t fix it if it ain’t broke.