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Thursday, 29 March 2012

Saggar fired pots in Japanese way

We had another sunny day. After work, I showered our parrots. The wetter they got, the wilder they became. They love shower, unlike our dogs.

I have never shown any of my works fired in saggars before. I had kept them as if they were my secret treasures until this week, but something happened inside me, and I decided to put two works for sale on eBay. I think it was my 'let them go' moment. I felt unless I let my past (works) go, I wouldn't be able to create new things. 

I made a couple of saggars from crank clay, and used them to fire small items in a traditional Japanese way. I made three Sakazuki, which are used to drink sake in formal occasions, whereas Guinomi are used in casual occasions.

1 This is a very attractive piece. Except for a part of the outside all parts are matt. Pale olive green is a natural glaze that comes from leaves. The black parts were from stalks. Stalks got burned on the surface, so I had to grind them afterwards. Japanese sake connoisseurs wouldn't mind these firing marks as most wood fired pottery has marks. The atmosphere of the saggar became partly reduced; it turned grey clay body into a beautiful orange colour. Although it is matt, it is watertight. I wish I could make something similar to this again, but it is up to a chance. It is for sale on eBay.  
Partly reduced

Pale green part is natural ash glaze

2 This pot was fired in fully reduced atmosphere in the saggar. Hence, my pine ash glaze turned to green. It is natural celadon glaze. 

Making pine ash was a real pain. I burnt pine branches, washed the ash so many times, sieved it, and ground it by hand. It took me some months to make it. But when I saw the result, I felt it was worth the effort. I can see steel blue, dark brown, pale brown and green on it. Although it is intended for sake, it could look good to serve a small amount of fine hors-d'Ĺ“uvre. Listied  also on eBay.
Full reduction
Natural celadon glaze from pine ash
3 This one also has same pine ash glaze, but the sagger remained oxidation atmosphere. As you can see, the atmosphere in the saggars makes such big difference to the pots. Each time when I was about to open a sagger, I became very excited with expectation. When the result was good, I did a little jig. I would love to do sagger firing again. It was such a fun!
Pine ash, oxidation

Yesterday, I suddenly remembered I made another successful firing with a saggar. Ta-da! My little Moomin! My childhood favourite TV hero. If you like to see more photos of him, you can see them on Etsy.  

Moomin fired in a saggar

During a walk, Pearl and I met Holly and John. We had a good time together. Here is Holly, Pearl's new friend.

Holly, Pearl's new friend.

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