Sunday, January 29, 2006

Bead Preparation

Today, at about 3:00 PM I began to light the fire for a new sawdust firing. It is a cold day, despite being warm for January. It is about 24F and a winter weather advisory is calling for freezing rain. Luckily, I got the firing started before the rain, and now that everything is getting a gloss coat of ice, the beads are toasty warm and the fire is smoking away.
Today I used a number of small porcelain beads that had been bisqued at cone 06. They were strung on rebar wire and hooked to the framework I use which just fits into the sawdust firing chamber which is a large can with some holes drilled into it. I spritzed the beads with water and then tossed some copper carbonate powder on them, hoping that the water would hold the powder closer and longer to the beads and have an affect on their color. We shall see. In addition, I strung some larger porcelain bisque beads with 28 guage copper wire which I strung in the central hole. This is supposed to affect the color as well. I am now going to upload a photo of those beads so that you can see how the copper wire was strung. That photo is above this text.

These beads were set on top of the sawdust, and then I put banana peels, scraps from picture frame moldings and shavings on top of them. This whole assortment of wood, sawdust and organic material was lighted with a match and began to burn as the wind whipped around the burning can. The wire wrapped beads will work their way down the fire and end up on the bottom after they have been exposed to all levels and additives of the fire. I will be sure to post these exact beads when the barrel cools off. This won't happen before tomorrow night even though it is very cold out. I expect the fire to burn all night. This sawdust is coarse, left over from the Amish sawmill cuttings, and is slightly damp. It takes longer to burn than the fine sawdust I used a few weeks ago.

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