Sunday, November 19, 2017

2017-10-26 - Thursday - Firing kiln

Thursday we fired the gas kiln. It was kept in reduction all day starting at cone 012 (~1582F), all the way up to cone 10 (~2345F). At the very end of the firing we do a "final soak" when we put the kiln into heavy reduction by starving it of oxygen. When that happens a beautiful green flame (copper) goes all the way up the flue and out the top to access oxygen.

After the final soak we shut it down and wait for it to cool for two days before opening it.

I've said it before: People who don't fire kilns only get one Christmas per year.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017-10-25 - Wednesday - Scummy

While the glazed pots sat on the shelf overnight the soluble salts surfaced in the shino glaze in what we call "scumming up". The salt crystals trap the carbon during the reduction firing making the shinos work, so scumming up is a good thing.

We finished loading the kiln and started candling it for tomorrow's firing. When I left it was up to 573 F with a long way to go.


2017-10-24 - Tuesday - Glazing with friends

Tuesday I was glazing a bunch of pots and Ju-Ian stopped by to say hello on her way out. She asked me about my new mini tripod which is also a selfie stick. So...

After she left I started my glazing marathon. Sometimes I think I'm getting too old for this. Many hours standing on the concrete leaves all my joints sore the next day. Glazing is truly a marathon: I'm on my feet the whole time and each pot gets handled multiple times for several layers of application. Someday I will have to do a time-lapse of the process.


Friday, November 17, 2017

2017-10-22 - Sunday - Greenville, SC

Sunday we went to Greenville, SC to visit Stephanie and Brett. While there we went to Falls Park on the Reedy. It's a beautiful park with a lot going on, not least of which is the Liberty Bridge.

Karen in front of the Medusa Tree.

The falls.

Stephanie, Brett, and Tomato.

The Liberty Bridge.


2017-10-19 - Thursday - Raku

Thursday night is raku class night at Clayworks and when I arrived I saw Greg had the mobile stairs pulled up to the kiln so everyone could see inside. Good idea.

Here's a short video showing the lazy flame inside the kiln.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

2017-10-18 - Wednesday - Construction/destruction, orchids, and butter dishes

Wednesday I was getting gas at BJ's Wholesale Club and noticed that someone had removed all the trees across the street. There used to be a thick grove of trees where the open area is now. I remember standing at the gas pump during a prior summer and thinking that the noise from the cicadas in that grove was deafening but wonderful. Now all those cicadas, and all the things that fed and ate the cicadas were gone.

I miss those trees.

The cranefly orchids have sent up their nourishing leaves for the fall/winter. I'm pleased that these rescued native plants are thriving here in our yard.

Later I went to Clayworks and worked on some more butter dishes.


2017-10-17 - Tuesday - Tea bowls

Tuesday I trimmed some of my tea bowls. I really enjoy making them and each series is different then the previous ones. I started out years ago with very stiff, formal-looking tea bowls. I delineated each part: the rim, the hip, the foot, etc., but they had no life in them. Since then I've played with shape and surface in multiple ways and they're getting looser with each run.

Stay tuned. Let's see where these go.