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Project: The Ceramic Crumb Oven(2011)

Description: An oven for firing tiny crumb sized clay objects based on the fact that a candle burns at around 1100 degrees Celsius.

The oven is easy to build and be constructed by using everyday common tools and objects with one exception to the professional ceramic oven pipe like props, which are mostly available (as far as I know) in northern Europe.

For instructions of how to build a Ceramic Crumb Oven and for tips on how to use it scroll right.

Masculine/ Feminine
20 May to 7 August 2011
De Krabbedans, Eindhoven.

6 pairs, male and female, of international designers from Holland and Portugal experiment with firing ceramics in small homemade ovens. The result consists of tiny objects about "Masculine/ Feminine" that in the exhibition can be viewed through magnifying glass or microscope.

Participating: BCXSY, Daniela Pais & David Luxembourg, Design Drift, Janine Braun & Pedro Almeida, Studio Joon&Jung together with Yu-hun Kim, Studio Pedrita.

Project Initiative: Yoad David Luxembourg

For more info please visit De Krabbedans website
ceramic crumb oven You will need:

1- A can containing 0.5Kg of peaches in syrup (10cm diameter & 12cm high)
2- 3 ceramic burning pipe like props (10, 15 & 20cm high, inner diameter of 3cm)
3- Metal wire 1mm thick & approximately 20cm long
4- Hammer
5- Towel
6- Metal cutting scissors
7- Nail (4-5cm long)
8- Thick marker
9- Sharp knife
10- Lineman’s or Combination Pliers

Not in the picture but still needed:

- A candle of 10hour light time
- Classic guitar string D or A
- Clay or liquid clay

ceramic crumb oven Step 1:

1- Eat all the peaches and syrup & empty the can.

2- Peal off the paper label from the can.

ceramic crumb oven Step 2:

Place can upside down on a table.
Place a prop on top of the can.

1- with the marker trace the out line of the prop over the can.

2- afterwards ad a cross in the center of the circle.

ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Step 3:

1- Using the hammer and the knife puncture the can at the center of the cross.

2- Cut the 2 lines of the cross dividing the circle into 4 slices (a-b).
ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Step 4:

1- With the metal scissor cut the circle into 16 slices, cutting each of the four previously made slices into another 4 parts.

Then pull the 16 slices upwards and outwards from the can forming a little crown sharp triangles on its top (a).

2- Finally again with the metal scissors cut the triangles about 1/3 from their base transforming the crown to a circle of teeth(b).
ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Step 5:

1- With the pliers press the teeth back to the surface of the can making it flat (a) with a round hole in its center.

2- Then again using the outer part of the pliers push the teeth inwards into the can (b).
ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Step 6:

1- Stuff the can with the towel.

2- With the marker make a line of dots about 3cm away from each other at the bottom of the can.

3- Using the hammer and the nail perforate the can at the pre-marked dots at its bottom.
ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Step 7:

1- Draw a door between 2 neighboring holes about 3-4cm high.

2- With the knife cut the sides of the door open.

3- With the metal scissors cut the base of the door open.

4- Flip the door upwards creating a rectangular hole in the side of the can.
ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Step 8:

1- Flatten the metal wire and from a right-angled hook at its end.

2- Keeping the hook at the end intact form a spiral from the rest of the wire with a diameter of 3.2-3.5cm.

3- While rotating it insert the spiral into the longest prop so that its hooked end of is at the edge of the prop (a).

ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Step 9:

1- Put the longest prop over the hole at the top of the can and push it downwards into it - transforming the can into an oven and the prop into its chimney.

2- You can adjust its height of the hook in the oven (can) by rotating the prop and simultaneously pulling it up or pushing it down.
ceramic crumb oven Step 10:

1- Make your design from clay or liquid clay. Very gently wrap your design with metal thread (a) taken from the classical guitar string 'D' or 'A' making a sort of a harness (b) for your design.

2- Then use the thread to give harness a tail with a thin ring at its end.

3- Hang your design over spiral hook inside the chimney and then adjust its position to be directly under the chimney by rotating the spiral hook inwards or outward.
ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Step 11:

1- Light the candle.

2- Place the oven over it. Prior to this make sure that the chimney is set to the right position or height so that your design, which hangs under the bottom edge of the chimney, is directly in the candle's flame and thus burnt correctly.

3- Place the other 2 props over the chimney making it and subsequently the flame longer.
ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven Notes:

Candle Flame may look harmless but is always dangerous. Even though it is small the oven can reach very high temperatures and has a risk of fire. So use this oven with care, pay attention and please read about what safety measure you can take in order to avoid harming yourself and your environment.

For instance it is best to place the oven when firing clay out side, preferably covered from wind and rain (this will help it burn more efficiently).

Also when handling the chimney while the oven is burning use a protective glove (and not from polyester as it will melt like butter in some cases)

ceramic crumb oven More notes:

The capacity of this ceramic depends on the size of its flame; make sure that your design is always in the center of it. As the candle burns away check the position of your design every few hours and if needed push the chimney down very gently by applying pressure to the top part of it.

To make the flame inside the oven stop dancing, place a fine metal net on the top of the chimney

Finally Paraffin is a byproduct of oil fuel, and is used as wax in almost all candles produced today. It is poisonous and Paraffin wax does not melt, but it is burnt in the flame and turns into toxic fumes. Therefore never inhale the fumes of paraffin candles and when looking into the oven to check on the position of your design use a mirror
ceramic crumb oven Once the firing is over:

Wait and let the oven cool down then remove your design from the spiral hook very gently. If the firing went well your item will not soften or melt when placed in water.

If you want you item to be black; take a soft painting or make up brush and brush the sooth on your design till it is completely black. Then wash it with water.

To have your item in lighter colors and even in clay white; with a tiny needle scratch the surface of your item very gently to remove large parts of the black soot, then blow on your item as hard as you can to remove any of the tiny soot particles which remained. Deep your item in liquid soap, scrub it and wash it with water.
ceramic crumb oven ceramic crumb oven 28. the Ceramic Crumb Oven (2011)

Concept & Design by: David Luxembourg
Photography: David Luxembourg

(c) All rights reserved, yeah! All of them.
+++ Yoad David Luxembourg 2015 & on.