Hello all! The wood stove in winter is perfect excuse to make small and fun little critters. Here's a batch I did recently. Maybe you will be inspired to do your own!
Lots of bone dry red earthenware clay birds. I quickly formed and smoothed the bird shapes, creating the eye hole with a small metal probe.
Gather your tools together: Sawdust, metal tin and figurines. My tin is just a recycled cookie tin - it's black from a previous use in a firing.
Layer sawdust on the bottom and arrange a group of birds on top.
Cover the clay birds with another layer of sawdust.
Put the remainder of clay birds in the sawdust.
Finish up by packing the rest of the area in the tin with sawdust.
Replace the lid securely and....
Put in your wood stove. Do not place the tin directly in the coals/flame area at first. The fire will heat up the clay too fast and there will be the possiblity of any water in the clay boiling, causing the clay birds to explode.
Right before you go to bed (and after a couple hours in the pre-heat zone) put the tine into the fire and cover with logs, coals etc. Each wood stove is different - do what feels the best to you.
The next morning - pull out your tin, especially if your fire went out - if you still have fire, pull to a safe zone to cool withing your stove, wait and pull out safely.
Open the lid and see what you have!
OOPS! In this case, I did have exploding birds. It can be anything: a little damp still, fire got too close too fast....I did notice that the breakage happened in the bottom layer....
Wipe away any ashes that cling, and set out for display! Enjoy! You did it! Give me a holler if you have questions and show me your results!