© 2015 by Janene Waudby. Created with Wix.com

Not all sawdust is equal..

February 19, 2015

 I have a sawdust shortage....  for a pit fiting potter, this is a bit of an issue.   To be strictly correct, I can buy lots of pet bedding sawdust, which is luxurious stuff if you are a guinea pig - but not so good for me.  Aside from the fact I have to buy it, its too "springy" which traps lots of air and makes the fire burn like a ravenous monster - even if I pack it down.  For the time being, I am desperately trying to slow down the fires by restricting oxygen as much as possible.   Still too fast though....         


You would think finding copious supplies of a waste product would be straightforward, but apparently not. After my phone around last week I learned that modern saw mills have extractor systems which duct the sawdust into sealed containers.   The best offer I got was when one of them said I could go and sweep the bits they miss off the floor!   I guess I need to find some time this week to go through the A-Z looking for local wood turners with no fancy ducting.      


Anyway, all this got me thinking about alternatives.   Could I replicate the effects in the kiln?  Could I use another fuel source?   A qualified 'yes' to both of those, but nothing I have found yet beats a slow old sawdust fire.  There is also something right about using a waste product and keeping the whole process as natural as possible.   I would be the first to admit the pots are quiet - they don't have bright colours or hard and shiny surfaces.   These sawdust fired pots evoke sky and clouds and plants and earth and water.   I love them for this, and so the sawdust hunt continues.             


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