Udu Drum Workshops
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Saw Dust Firing

After I bisque fire my work in an electric kiln to 980c they undergo their final transformation in the saw dust kiln. This is an outdoor process in which metal garbage bins, large oil drums or a dug pit in the ground is used. The availability of different types of wood saw dust gives me the opportunity to experiment and receive different results. On my walks I gather various natural materials, -- sea weeds, grasses, rotten wood, etc, which are used on and around the clay pieces, leaving their own markings as they smolder with the saw dust.

smoke firing

The filled bins, barrels or pits are set alight with a small fire on top. The saw dust catches the flames and once the fire has burned down, a lid is placed on top of the bin allowing the saw dust to smolder for 24-48 hours.

Adjusting the draft, choosing the type of wood chipping or saw dust and positioning the pieces provide a degree of control over the process. Ultimately though, the process is out of my control and guided by the mystery of transformative fire.

 

Smoke Firing

“It is impossible to predict the outcome of my work; rather, I set in motion a series of conditions which ultimately establish their own pulse and life. With this thinking everything is assimilated and becomes absorbed as influence. Smoke is a transforming element which carries the possibility of beauty on its swirling journey. Yellow painted steel barrels are transformed over time to ochre, red, black and ultimately return gracefully to soil. Clay, the ordinary humble material, becomes extraordinary. All conditions bear witness to the change of my pieces, my attitudes and ultimately my life as an artist.

To work in such a state of creative purity is what urges me to continue my artistic journey.”

Masoud also uses a potter’s wheel, throwing chalices, elegant pitchers, plates and bowls, serving vessels and platters, wine and water cups, and other table ware upon commission.

He uses wood ash to create personalized glazes that are rich and colourful.  

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