Thursday, May 19, 2011

Well, there goes "You Can Ring My Bell"

as a title.

Turns out that song is about sex.

And this blog is about actual bells.

Our final assignment in advanced ceramics was raku for raku firing.  Raku firing happens outside, with lots of open flame, smoke, heat, and flying newspaper.  It's kind of like a controlled miniature fire-fighter party.  We even have fire-fighter coats and gloves.

One of the important things to note about raku firing is that nothing that comes out of it is food safe.  So I decided right off the bat that I wasn't even going to -attempt- to make anything that could be confused with food safe.  I wanted to make something for my yard.  My original idea was to make a series of stepping stones... until I started working on them and realized you can't make stepping stones out of ceramics and walk on them for 2 reasons-- 1.  if you make them thick enough to walk on, you can't pick them up, dry them out, or fire them, and 2.  if you make them thin enough to pick up,dry out and fire-- you can't walk on them.

Well crap!  After a small freak out and 20 minutes of thinking, I decided to make bells instead.

So I fashioned my first bell.

Complete with attachment inside for where the wire would hang and the clapper would go.  Then I made 2 more, getting progressively smaller.  I decided that these bells would be used to make a wind chime.

The finished piece, as it looks when you head up to my house.

The finished piece, as it looks when I walk out the front door.
 Very pleased with the end results.  So it's 3 bells, raku fired, with a copper based glaze, assorted sea shells and copper wire.  It even 'rings' when the wind blows.

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