Thursday, May 6, 2010
I hadn't ever really gave much thought to clay shrinkage from the firing process. I had read about how it is a normal thing to happen. After making a few more pressed clay bricks for a later firing, I put a finshed brick next to them to compare the colors. What caught my eye though was the size difference of before and after. Pretty amazing when you get a side by side like this.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Saturday I came up with a bold idea. To see how quickly I could make a dozen bricks from start to finish. From digging up natural clay all the way to a finshed ready to use good product. It took me two days. Thats it. Three if you want to count cooldown and inspection.
Here are the steps involved and the outcome.
1. Dug up a wheelbarrow load of Flora clay straight out of the ground behind my barn. The clay was already damp from a previous days rainfall. No water will be added.
1:00 pm Saturday
2. Removed all obvious twigs, rocks, and non clay looking dirt material from the load to be formed into bricks. Flora clay at my location is nearly free of roots, rocks or sand. Unusually clean and ready to use for this area of Indiana farmland.
3. Load brick press and press out 12 bricks. Used all three of my frog logos just for the heck of it.
4. Load into the electric kiln to begin the drying out. This is really tricky. Too fast and they crack. Too slow and the wont dry for a month!
4:00pm to 9:00pm Saturday.
5. Fire in the electric kiln to at least 2000'F.
7:30am to 9:00pm Sunday
6. Cooldown , unload and inspection.