More Saggars

Sewriously the holes aren't great

A made some new saggar formers and saggars to fire in

So this week I made some prototype saggar formers and saggars, I mixed my own clay with sawdust, grog from broken pots and some molochite for added strength.  Now if I didn’t have a deadline I would let them dry over two weeks, but I had a deadline so I force dried overnight and fired the next day so you will see some cracks in the larger saggar.

Also if you want to make a saggar former don’t leave such big gaps as the clay can get stuck in them making the harder to remove.

there's clay in my salad

slowly filling the saggar with materials and alternating layers of seashells filled with wadding

There is wadding pushed into the cracks which leaves the white marks.

Oh look at that, all artsy

Almost full just needs more material putting on top

how do you fit so much in

Saggar packed to the rafters with organic material

I’m trying to use seaweed sparingly, it is high in feldspar and silica but it also has high levels of arsenic, so a little goes a long way and it isn’t to be used on functional wares either.  The green plant is mares tail (or horses tail) and is high in silica and gives some really interesting effects to the clay, Patricia Shone told me at Earth and Fire that it was high in silica. That it can be used for making marks in the firing much like the Japanese potters use rice husks.

wiggly wiggly lines

You can see the lines the mares tail leaves on the clay surface, this piece of pottery has some glazed surfaces which are golden down to unglazed surfaces and the mares tail leaves patterns on all of it.

Saggars have a high thermal mass so the kiln is so sluggish in cooling, it just felt like it took hours to cool to the point I could open the kiln.

someone needs to clean up this mess

Cracking open a saggar is really exciting especially as you can’t see what’s inside from first glance

Everything in the saggar gets washed and a light sanding with 500 grit sandpaper to remove any batt wash and some of the rough spots.

serrious am I just firing air

There doesn’t really feel to be much in a saggar that seemed to be jam packed with pottery


this budvase made from my homemade porcelain and honey glaze has some gorgeous colouring and flashing all over it.

I quickly turned around the kiln and put a second saggar full of work in it, which resulted in the most amazing wonky pot, even better than my first saggar.

I can't stop drooling

The colours on this are totally worth the rest of the tiles in here being a disaster

I couldn't make this on purpose

Each side tells a different story for fire and ash, with the slip the honey glaze and reclaim clay mixed with earthenware and stoneware clays.

I love how the grog pulls apart the clay

I want to eat it, but arsenic!

the flashing on that porcelain slip, I never thought my little kiln would make something like this.

So all this Saggar firing has gotten me really excited and I want to mount up the tiles and write a little bit about my tile cottle next time.  I am on my holidays from work now, so hopefully I will be able to get some throwing done this week.

About Joseph Travis

Maker of ceramic objects, Ceramic Researcher and full time dad to two boys
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One Response to More Saggars

  1. Pingback: Slip decorating: the wobbly pot way | Red Fox Pottery

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