June 25, 2008

Collections and Thoughts

I have these collections of natural objects I've found that I arrange in bark plates or in bowls in the studio. I'm particularly fascinated with seed pods. These pictured here are some in the studio that I often look at. I enjoy the textures created by the pockets made by the seed, as well as the repetition in line. Driving around the nearby farm and mountain areas, I enjoy looking at garden beds and the beauty in the repetition of lines and rows. More later on this thought...

Today I threw a lot of creamer and sugar sets and some small jars. I have a lot of other pots to work on throughout the week as I throw the last few forms. (more mugs, tumblers, and small vases.) Next week I have to cut myself off from making wet work and start glazing. It's always hard to stop throwing at this point because I'm in the groove at the wheel, where the clay is flowing into shape with my hands. It's honestly not always flowing like that! I'm probably going to have to cut things off the list that I won't have time to finish. I do this pretty much every time, because I knowingly bite off more than I can chew, so to speak. I'll create huge throwing lists that are ever growing during the cycle of making pots. I normally end up with plenty of bisqueware for loading, and that way I can edit out the pots that aren't so good. I fired the first bisque kiln today, and usually fire 3 loads to have enough to fill the soda kiln. Sometimes I'll fire 4 and then I have plenty of pots of various heights and slips to choose between for loading.

Lately, I've been starting to think about the upcoming loading and firing. The last soda firing I did I was anxious to get as many pots in as I could. Half of the pots that came out of that firing were already promised to wholesale orders, so in my determination to have enough leftover pots for my own shows, I stacked the kiln too tightly. It resulted in the pots being very dry and the flashing wasn't as vibrant as previous soda firings. There was just too much mass in there to aid in dispersing the soda vapor. So, this time I'm going to do the best I can to not stack as tight as I have grown apt to do. I also have made a few more things in porcelain and different slips that I can strategically place in certain areas to help increase my odds of getting good flashing and soda throughout the kiln.

It was a good lesson to learn, despite not getting the best firing out of it. Sometimes you have to go way overboard to learn where you should backup to. I have to remind myself that I am not a machine and my purpose as a potter is to create handmade objects that are unique and possess an unmatchable energy; pots that speak of myself and my observations.

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