Successful firing

Looks like a pretty successful firing yesterday by my terms. No explosions or severe splintering, although there are a number of what I figured to be inevitable hairline cracks in the fluffy clouds. All in all I don’t think they are as bad off as I expected though, and I’m already thinking through ways to keep this from happening in the future.

A couple of the sculptural storms actually faired very well in comparison to my expectations. I used reclaim clay that was mostly Steve’s White, a low-fire body that is basically free of anything resembling grog.


Later this week, maybe even this afternoon, I plan to begin smoke-firing them. I don’t feel like I have the time to attempt this in a barrel as I’d like to this week, so for the time being the smoke will continue to be electric.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

2 Responses to Successful firing

  1. Tobias Davis says:

    That’s pretty neat. I just found some fire clay (dry, powder) I had misplaced and I am thinking of making a crucible (for my aluminum forge) out of some. Is that kiln home made?

    • pcNielsen says:

      No, not homemade. I’d love to build myself a soda kiln someday though. I have a larger derelict gas kiln in the back yard I might use toward that end if I ever have space and feel like I will be the same place long enough to justify it. Building your own isn’t a cheap proposition from the ground up; most homemade ceramic kilns aren’t small.

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