February 28, 2011
Loading the wood kiln went well, I'm always amazed at how many pots fit in this kiln. I enjoy the loading part so much, the hopeful excitement and anticipation of a firing is lingering, as well as the curiosity of new ideas on the pots. I also enjoy the careful thought that goes into where each pot must be loaded to maximize it's potential for fire and soda in each spot. Below is a view from lifting up the stoking door, taking you into the side part of the kiln looking at the loaded pots-to-be.
The firing went smoothly, and we unloaded yesterday and I'm still soaking in the results. Overall, it was a good firing; I have a lot of nice surfaces and new pots with shiny hot glazes in the new carving patterns. The pots on the top shelf weren't quite hot enough, yet again, which is hard to take since that's always where my most complicated pots go, like my teapots. This kiln proves to be difficult in getting the top shelves hot. We waited longer to get it to catch up, so that means on the floor fireface side, I had some drippy, extremely hot pots that were loved on by the wood flame, ash and soda. So I'm already thinking down the line to the next firing about what I'm going to do to help get the teapots on the top better.
Potters always say that sometimes it just takes one pot in a whole kiln load to make it great. I had several winners in the bowl, plates, mugs and cup areas. There were some cups (remember those ones with the waist details?) that turned out pretty awesome....more to share will come soon. First things first...shoot some photos and then send off a nice selection of these to an upcoming NCECA show I'm in.
February 22, 2011
I finally cut myself off from making new pots and started the glazing process a few days ago. So my head has been buried deep within the piles of bisqueware, but today I found the end of this long part of the process and have even managed to haul it all over to the wood kiln. Tomorrow we'll start loading and fire up the wood pallet kiln on Thursday! I had thought we'd freeze when planning this February firing, but the weather has been pretty mild lately, perfect for firing! I'm excited for this one because I have lots of new ideas coming out of this making cycle, ideas that will jump start me into my next making cycle at the wheel.
You might hear next from me ATF- (after the firing)- in that middle ground time between the unloading when all you can do is twiddle your thumbs, waiting for that kiln to cool! (And have rest for the weary, I've been a non-stop busy little bee lately!)
If you're in the 'hood, come on up the hill to the Exchange to see the kiln in action- you can follow the smoke signals for directions.
February 15, 2011
So, in the middle of making lots of pots this winter, other winter projects end up being computer business, including a website update! A potter's life ends up being filled to the brim with lots of hats that we must wear. A DIY kind of attitude, (or budget). With a little help from Will, (aka partner, potter, kiln builder, web designer, studio mate....), using a Wordpress site makes it easy to change the design template a bit. I added newer images and detail shots, and also, I found some neat ways to show a line up of images in 3 slide shows I made under the gallery, process, and artist statement pages. Check it out!
p.s. Will also designs sites for others in case you're interested!
February 14, 2011
Will and I loaded up the methane gas kiln at the Energy XChange for a bisque firing today. Usually I use the electric kilns for a bisque. But since the methane is there and free to use, it makes sense to fire a huge load of pots all at once in this! Then they'll be fired in the wood kiln next week, so all of my kiln firings will be with renewable and waste energy. The kiln is a good size, so it was amazing how many pots it ate up when I loaded it. That would have been 6 or 7 electric kiln firings worth of work. It felt different loading up so much work for one gigantic bisque kiln load, but now it's nice to get it out of the studio where we were running out of room!
February 13, 2011
I really enjoyed making this round of teapots. After making this one last fall, I've been wanting to revisit that form again. Teapots have always been my favorite form to make and with the new details, it doesn't even matter to me that they are taking longer and longer to finish. I never let myself 'not' do something to a pot just because it might take forever. If it is a design choice that I am intrigued by, then I have to pursue it to see where it will take me. Working through ideas in stages like this reminds me of rock hopping along a creek. You hop one way and it leads you in one direction....but then, what if you had gone the other way? All those rocks lead to new choices for me when I'm working with clay.
I'm just about to wrap up this making cycle with the wood firing next week. I am in full tilt in the studio and I'm not ready to stop throwing new pots! These new ideas (and more that are brewing) are fueling me for my next making cycle.
February 7, 2011
I've noticed that this time of year, thoughts of spring start turning up in my pots. Each day I go home I gaze over my garden beds and greenhouse and can't wait to start digging around in the dirt. It's nearing time to order my seeds, and I'm always eager for starting them and watching them sprout. I really think if I just couldn't keep so preoccupied in the studio all day, I'd either be gardening, hiking, or cooking, and all of these, with my camera in hand. Nevertheless, for now, I'm having fun indoors where it's warm at least. (And yes, I'm quite warm up in the studio at the Energy Xchange with the newly fixed radiant floor heating! yay!)
February 2, 2011
There's lots of pots in progress up here in the studio, lurking underneath plastic these days, waiting to get fussed over! These mugs were looking interesting under the plastic with some afternoon light pouring in my studio window. I've been really enjoying carving lately, so the pots are taking longer to finish because I'm playing out new patterns here and there, on new forms, too. Above is a larger, wide mug-to-be and below is a new mug fashioning a trimmed foot this time! I'm making all these pots for the quickly approaching wood firing in February. I have some upcoming deadlines for the very beginning of March. But there are still lots of pots to make! I need to get away from mugs and bowls and carving and soon be in jars, and vases and teapot land!