Wali Hawes 1952 - 2014
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Pottery Kiln Overview

The kiln is an instrument that is normally used to convert clay into pottery. It is an irreversible process due to the chemical changes that occur to the clay once it goes beyond a certain temperature.

This temperature, which is around 575 degrees Celsius, causes the silica in the clay body to go from alpha-quartz to beta-quartz and is known as Quartz Inversion.

The kiln allows this to happen in a controlled way. So the kilns I build are used to carry out this process and to date have been wood-fired and gas fired.

Developing Pottery Kilns for Decoration

However, I have developed kilns in two other important directions.

Historically with the development of Kiln Technology, principally in China, elevated temperatures were achieved and with it glazes.

Kilns have been developed as a tool for decoration. So, I use the kilns as tools to create various atmospheres which will intervene directly on the clay surfaces.

The Wall. Paper Kilns and all types of Experimental Firings comes under this category. It also allows you to freely create all sorts of chambers that will allow this process to occur.

The third type is where the kiln becomes a ceramic object because we build the kiln out of clay. Firing it makes the kiln go through the same process as would greenware and as such, logically it becomes a ceramic object.

Now, if we include the actual firing we disrupt the ceramic process and the entire spectacle enters into the realm of the ephemeral. Fire Trees principally come under this category. Other works include "Fire Flowers" and "Dragons".

More on Kilns



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