Friday, June 08, 2007

Burnished Pot

I'm getting ready to jump into a new firing technique--barrel firing, and burnishing this little pot is just part of the process.

I'll get into the details of Barrel firing in another post. Here I'll just talk about how I burnished this pot.

I threw this form on the wheel and smoothed the wet clay as smooth as possible with a metal rib. When the pot was almost bone dry ("leather hard" in potters terms) I used a metal spoon to burnish the pot. It took about an hour, gently rubbing the spoon in circular motions. At this point the pot took on a nice glossy sheen. It was probably ready to fire at this time but I decided to try burnishing it again with a little bit of Crisco oil. I had read about this method on the internet.

I applied a light coat of oil with my finger, about two-inches square at a time, and then polished the area in circular motions with the bottom side of the spoon. This was repeated until the whole pot took on a high gloss finish. Holding it in your hands, it looks and feels like a finely polished granite or marble stone.