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Dawn

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2006 Past President
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For the October Barrel fire, we wanted to involve the kids at the Market, but a Barrel fire takes too long for them to stop by and make something.  So we thought we would see how short a time clay needs to be in the fire to get nice color.  Barrel fishing was born.

Start with bisqued and terra sig'd clay with a hole in it or some other way to wrap wire around it.  We used mold formed fish by Randi Lile with a hole through the top fin. 

Get a good hot barrel fire going.

Run thick copper 3-4 feet long wire thru the hole in the fish.  Place the fish (with wire attached) onto a piece of paper.  Add, well, whatever.  Seeds, string, leaves, etc.  See BBQ fire post for more ideas.  Wrap the paper around the fish and tape with masking tape.  The wire should stick out of the wrap.

Bend the "handle" end of the wire so it will hook on the edge of the barrel.  Lower the wrapped fish into the barrel.  The wrap may burn immediately or it may take a few minutes depending on the heat.  Pull the fish up at any time to see the color.  It ranges from amazingly bright yellow to burnt marshmallow to grey, purple and black.  Tomatoes in the wrap often make red/peach colors.  Keep returning the fish to the fire until happy with the color then remove from the fire.  For small pieces, dip in a bucket of water to cool.  More delicate pieces should cool slowly on a brick.

After cleaning, spray with a clear coat to protect it.       

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Dawn Atkin

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