April 21, 2011
You should come up to the Energy XChange Friday night, April 22 at 5 pm. That will kick off our 12th year anniversary party for this special place. We welcome all- potluck style, we will be grilling tilapia and more for you, with live music from artists in our community! We're even going to plant a few trees- this one was planted 12 years ago when the Energy XChange first began. I've been enjoying it's fireworks explosion of lime green flowers.
Our native azaleas are also in full bloom, right outside my studio window. Makes for a lovely sitting spot for my lunch break.
I've been looking through and sanding all of the new wood fired pots, getting them priced and ready to send to new homes! I have a great pile of these amber carved square bowls, as well as carved mugs and ridge bowls. A couple of those new cups, too that will be around in the studio for visitors to see or take home with them!
My vases have an upcoming destination and other events they are being held for, but I wanted to share them with you. I was happy with all the new forms and little details I discovered when adding the handles and peaks. They happened to be on a great shelf in the kiln, too! I'm always happy when I get a nice contrast of the rich red flashing slips with the variations between the soda and the wood ash.
Come party with us up at the landfill!
April 19, 2011
We unloaded the kiln last night and the pots look great! Will got some beautiful lunch and dinner plates and ice cream bowls that I'm wanting to keep all for myself! I'm very happy with all of my flower vases and bark baskets, and I also got some nice bowls and mugs, too. Now it's time to sift through all these pots and take in the small details. It's so hard to see all the things right at once when you unload.
April 16, 2011
People who haven't seen the wood kiln up at the Energy XChange often ask with incredulous tone, "now how exactly does it work to throw whole pallets into the kiln?" Most of the time we are throwing in pallets that we have cut in thirds or in half because it is a smaller stoke size, and easier to lift and throw in by yourself. Towards the end, we do put a whole pallet in about every 5 minutes, often with the pallet instantly igniting just as it is poked through the door. The firebox is the depth and width of a pallet.
Since the door opening is so large, needless to say- it's excruciatingly hot and if you don't stoke the pallet just right, it may stick out and the door won't close completely, resulting in intense flames coming out everywhere. There is also the risk of hitting the bagwall, which would then tumble right into the shelves of pots. So it definitely takes some getting used to the ferociousness of this beast; when it's at full temperature it is a hungry pallet eating animal.
Here is another very important aspect of our firing. When we're not stoking, or playing the slot game by moving around piles of pallets on a pallet jack, sitting and talking about food is pretty much the main focus. This time I had made a round of black bean enchiladas the day before- and we heated them up on a pile of coals we raked out from the firebox. Joy's fireside cafe! Next time there is talk of building a small brick oven right there for homemade pizza and other delectable treats. You gotta have your priorities straight!
Kiln is cooling as we speak!
April 14, 2011
Here's a photo tour of the last few days around the Energy XChange- I glazed a round of carved bowls, mugs and assorted vases for the wood firing. The rest of the kiln will be filled with Will's pots; he made some beautiful large pieces I'll have to show you after the firing.
It's starting to get pretty nice up here on this hill.
Beautiful mustard greens I found in the greenhouse that I tossed into a great salad the other day.
Pallets and pots! Loading up the kiln.
We're firing it off today, right as I type this, these pots are starting to get hot! Come up for a visit if you're in the neighborhood- it's a beautiful spring day.
April 7, 2011
I came home from NCECA inspired from a great clay conference, to find my own inspirations right in my backyard. I usually don't have to go very far where I live to find them. Spring has come, and with it my favorite month. The redbud tree above is just starting to bloom out my kitchen window.
I'm trying to get caught up with all that I've missed while being away, but have been massively slowed down by a terrible cold, so resting and sleeping is all I've been doing the past few days. I'll be up and at 'em soon enough though, because we're firing the wood kiln next week and I have some glazing to do!
I love the way these ferns begin to open.