Wood Fired Pots

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:48 pm

Wow fellas, it's been awhile since I posted here. Rock- you didn't say anything wrong, I just haven't been posting. It's pretty busy around here. We just finished a big trade convention in Phoenix, so hopefully I'll have more time to keep up with things on the IBC. BTW we all fire our pots together. When "The Boss" has his firings, my wife, several others and I get some work in. Then we fire a kiln and Don gets his work in. We unloaded a kiln yesterday with really nasty results. One of the slips bubbled and peeled away from the pots. Mad I lost about half of the work. I'm sure it was the new clay body I've been using. I only had one bonsai pot in the kiln, and I think it came out great.

I'm starting to understand the balance between the tree and the pot. My pots are getting thinner to allow for more soil. But I don't understand how Rob K can compare the relationship between trees and pots with paintings and picture frames. If all a bonsai pot does is to frame the tree, then I'm finished. Any cheap chinese pot will do that. I don't have any reason to make bonsai pots anymore. But if a pot is more than that (and I hope it is considering we have a section of a forum devoted to bonsai pots and I don't know anyone who wants to talk about picture frames), then I want to make the best pot that I can. I think I may have opened up the "is bonsai pottery art" worm can. Sorry fellas.
-PT


Last edited by prestontolbert on Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:44 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : image was out of proportion)

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:58 pm

Hmmm...
I just read Rob K's topic about avant garde bonsai pots. I seem to have foot in mouth disease.

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  Alan Walker on Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:46 am

prestontolbert wrote:I'm starting to understand the balance between the tree and the pot. My pots are getting thinner to allow for more soil. But I don't understand how Rob K can compare the relationship between trees and pots with paintings and picture frames. If all a bonsai pot does is to frame the tree, then I'm finished. Any cheap chinese pot will do that. I don't have any reason to make bonsai pots anymore. But if a pot is more than that (and I hope it is considering we have a section of a forum devoted to bonsai pots and I don't know anyone who wants to talk about picture frames), then I want to make the best pot that I can. I think I may have opened up the "is bonsai pottery art" worm can. Sorry fellas.
-PT
Several years ago I owned an art gallery and frame shop. I believe there is an apt comparison in the relationship of the pot to the bonsai with that of the frame and the artwork. The functions are similar. Perhaps you haven't considered framing very much, just like many people will miss the significance of bonsai pots. No need to get into a discussion about picture framing here, but the metaphor does carry significance.

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  Carolee on Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:15 am

I am not a potter, but I love and appreciate good pottery. I love the last pot you showed. Will you please explain to me the advantage of a wood fire kiln? Thanks!

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:00 pm

Hi Carolee-
The advantage of woodfire is the mystery and excitement of not knowing what the pots will look like when the door to the kiln is opened. The pots go into the kiln with no glaze and the ash from the fire sticks and melts to the pot to form the glaze. With the last pot I posted, I placed a brick very close to the front and the back. That gave it the sharp ash glaze transition. You can see a crusty, moss like protrusion on the bottom right. That is where coals were touching the pot for long periods. Woodfiring has strong similarities to and relationships with bonsai. Unlike gas or electric firing, most woodfiring takes the control and precision of glazing away from the potter. Sure, glazes can be used in a wood kiln, but with enough time they are drastically altered by the fire. Similarly with bonsai we can't, nor do we always want to make a tree grow exactly as we want it to. The principals of wabi sabi get involved. In woodfire, heck, we use trees as a source of heat and decoration for pots that will contain trees. It's an infinitely renewable energy source. Especially if you're good at killing little maples and pines. Actually we fire with trees that the forest service makes available, and barnwood scrap from a furniture maker. Also in woodfire we have to babysit the kiln. Wood has to be stoked constantly. So it feels, to me, that I give a little more of myself to the pots, more so than when I gas fire. And that is what is important in any art form: to express something that intrigues you, be it branch ramification and big trunks, or long hot firings and drippy pots.
Sorry for the rambling- Preston

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  Carolee on Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:04 am

Hello Preston, thanks so much for the information. It really makes me appreciate the wood fired pots even more!

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  Reiner Goebel on Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:00 am

I was fascinated by the little holes in the last image of your pot series. Are they for ventilation? Rolling Eyes

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:19 pm

Que? Shocked Little holes? Where?

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  rock on Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:29 pm

Reiner Goebel wrote:I was fascinated by the little holes in the last image of your pot series. Are they for ventilation? Rolling Eyes
ARe you talking about the slab pot? Maybe wire tie down holes..poseeblay?

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  dan butler on Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:48 am

amazing kiln amazing pots. i love wood fired pots. very jelous i think i will get as far as a gas kiln with out anoying the neigbours.
canot wait to see more

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  BigDave on Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:48 pm

dan butler wrote:
canot wait to see more

Yeah me too, but its been 3 and a half years now, he may not be coming baaaaack...

Sad

--big Dave

ps. good to see you perusing the pots forum, good stuff eh?

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  Rob Addonizio on Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:47 am

I wish he would too! Sad



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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  JimLewis on Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:19 pm

He last posted in May of this year.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:38 pm

Hey fellas!
Sorry I haven't been around. Ive really not been using a computer regularly. I've had the flu this week, so Im able to be online a little. I'm making a fair amount of bonsai pots now in preparation for spring. Hopefully ill get some pics when I feel better.

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  BigDave on Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:12 am

prestontolbert wrote: I'm making a fair amount of bonsai pots now in preparation for spring. Hopefully ill get some pics when I feel better.

Hey Your self, good to hear you are live andkickin
still working for the Don ?

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  Rob Addonizio on Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:48 am

Hey Preston,
Hope you are feeling better soon. Say, I am looking forward to seeing some more of your expressionistic wood fired bonsai pots too! Very Happy

Rob

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:46 am

Hey Dave-
Im not in Arizona anymore. I moved back to NC in 2010 and started making pots and building kilns. But I just got back from doing a couple of extended firings at Dons.
Rob-
Thanks. My current pots are more subdued. I would like to get a slab roller for more efficiency with rectangles and ovals, but I was also thinking about ram pressing. I have a hydraulic mechanics press that I was thinking about using for more stable rectangles. What are your thoughts?

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  BigDave on Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:35 pm

prestontolbert wrote: I have a hydraulic mechanics press that I was thinking about using for more stable rectangles. What are your thoughts?
like this ?

http://www.harborfreight.com/20-ton-shop-press-32879.html


Ive used a ram press, it is a pain with the mold set up and tubing etc,

something like this would be much more gentile but I think you still may need a stronger than normal mold material, duramold, or ?

the pressing has so much more force it is hard on brittle plaster o paris

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:59 pm

Dave-
Its similar but beefier. Its a 60 ton automatic hydraulic. I was thinking about using non releasing (no air pressure) reinforced hydracal dies. I just want basic shapes to work from. Ill add the feet and surface alteration. I want lots of different sizes, so I'll make several different dies and let them release naturally. What do you think? Should I add air journals?

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  BigDave on Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:08 am

prestontolbert wrote:Dave-
Its similar but beefier. Its a 60 ton automatic hydraulic. I was thinking about using non releasing (no air pressure) reinforced hydracal dies. I just want basic shapes to work from. Ill add the feet and surface alteration. I want lots of different sizes, so I'll make several different dies and let them release naturally. What do you think? Should I add air journals?

No I think you have a good plan. the air is cool but hard to do, I think you have the right idea, make lots, so you can press press press, then they will be ready to release by the time you get done.

I do that, small ones I include feet in the mold, bigger than say 14 inches I leave the mold smooth on the bottom and add feet later.

I press in the morning, by mid after noon they are getting loose, I put a ware board on top then invert until morning. In the morning I lift a corner , most time the pot is separated from the mold, but itmay not be ready to release yet. so I add a shim on two edges which creats some airflow and in a few hours it will drop. Easy

Like to see the press in action...when you are ready

-big D

never used hydracal, thats a gypsum cement right?

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:00 pm

dave-
Its gypsum cement. It's what they use to make hydrobats. Thanks for the info. Do you press-mold soft slabs?

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  BigDave on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:42 am

prestontolbert wrote:dave-
Its gypsum cement. It's what they use to make hydrobats. Thanks for the info. Do you press-mold soft slabs?

Yes, just like ... Smile

http://youtu.be/ZO6KruCeiQA

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  prestontolbert on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:52 am

Awesome! I know that episode well. I may just forget about the press and just make some slab molds. How do you make your slabs? I was thinking about trying the Katsushi Kataoka method. Very Happy

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

Post  BigDave on Wed Jan 02, 2013 11:59 pm

prestontolbert wrote: How do you make your slabs? I was thinking about trying the Katsushi Kataoka method. Very Happy

Yeah just the boring old slab roller....

I want to try that wedge and stack a few hundred pounds of clay, then walk on it, then get my ole lady to pull out the strips and me cut it into layers

yeah that will never happen... Very Happy not one part of it

I was talking to Jim Barrett about that and he said you could buy pre stacked, sliced to size slab/piles in Japan. There's a business idea for ya PT

I know you must be strong like ox , since you worked for the Reitz Stackmaster

Turning and burning,
-Big D

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Re: Wood Fired Pots

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