Barrel Fired Vase
From the Barrel Fire Collection: a decorative wide belly vase embellished with a wire wrapped neck.
Barrel firing pottery is a very low temperature process. Due to how simple it is, this method or equivalent techniques have been used for thousands of years. Small bits of wood, saw dust, bark – any small combustibles are put into a barrel interspersed amongst the layers of pottery. The wood in the barrel is set alight and it smolders away eventually leaving a pile of pottery and ashes at the bottom of the barrel.
Subtle marks are made by the carbon in the smoke staining the clay. For added color, the pottery can be wrapped in aluminum foil. The foil can contain different materials such as salt, steel wool, copper, banana peels – a wide range of items. The foil keeps the fumes of these heated materials next to the pot to create some staining. For this low temperature process, no glazes are used. Preparing the pots beforehand requires repeated burnishing as the clay dries, giving a slick smooth subdued pot.
Born in a very small town in the Central Interior of British Columbia, Erin moved to Hamilton in 2000 to attend Mohawk College for a subject completely unrelated to art. Over the past 20+ years she has explored many creative outlets but has now found her passion in painting and pottery. She finds inspiration in her surroundings: The Great Lakes, the Niagara Escarpment, and the gardens in her own back yard.
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