Skip navigation

Category Archives: Biscuit Fired

Work which has had its first firing but is yet to have its glaze firing.

All ok! They all survived a Cone 4 biscuit firing. That means they have undergone a change on a molecular level and can never return to mud again. Sorry world for better or for worse, that’s it these are for keeps! Aren’t they looking pretty. What clever students and my children’s half term fun survived as well.
Now I just need to find out how much this is going to set me back!


Biscuit ware, Cone 4 fired to 1060


Decorative Slip, red iron oxide, cobalt oxide, copper carbonate, and plain old white.


Decorative Slipware


So I finally got a firing. Kazuri Beads let me use their kiln. Although confusingly they will not tell me how much they are going to charge me before the event. I have relayed this story to others and they tell me this is a peculiarly Kenyan approach to a transaction. We shall just have to see I guess… much could it be?!?
Anyway in goes 28 pieces. (Only one made by me!)
As we loaded up I am reminded how much I like technicians. The practical people that work away behind the scenes. They are the problem solvers and genuinely want things to work well for others. Lacking in the ego required to be the front man I am naturally at home with these types. And I feel confident that Nicholas is going to see us right!


Dry clay vessels, being loaded into kiln at Kazuri Beads


The steady hand of the technicians


Me and the fellas at Kazuri Beads


All loaded up and good to go….

I had gone over to the Sisters farm to feed the pigs our left overs and fetch some more eggs. As I washed out my swill bucket at the farm tap John appeared, politely asking how my day was going (Kenyans are very polite). It took me a while to notice his right hand held a black bottle, the other some broken shards of bowl. My pots! The bottle must have reemerged today from the giant smoking blue-gum charcoal pit, and I was delighted to see it in one piece. I popped it all in my swill bucket and took it back to the large cast concrete sinks behind my studio to give it a wash and brush up. As I examined the shards, they snap in my fingers like dry biscuits. Not fired then, actually just cooked. I turned to the bottle and applied pressure at the rim and it too snapped. Obviously didn’t get above 600•c in there. Looking at a cross section I could still see the clay centre, untransformed. I took the pieces inside and submerged them in water, wondering how long it would take them to return to sludge. 20140228-145045.jpg