Monday, October 31, 2016

2016-10-03 - Monday - Firing Cone 10

Monday Jeff and I fired the cone 10 gas kiln. Since we only had to check the kiln every hour or so, I brought my laptop to Clayworks and did some work in the break room while we were firing. The firing went quickly and it was a bit strange since the atmosphere inside was "murky" in the bottom peep and clear in the top one. The murkiness showed we had good reduction (free carbon) atmosphere, but the top being clear was a concern.

Caught sight of this old spiderweb
outside by the loading dock door.

We got to 2287 F and the bottom 10 cone was pretty much down
and the top 10 cone was only soft. Done.


2016-10-02 - Sunday - Raku and gas kiln = busy day

Sunday we were loading the gas kiln and while waiting for Jeff to finish glazing his work I fired some of the raku pots I've been making.

Raku paraphernalia all ready to go.

While waiting for the raku kiln to heat the first load
I glazed some more raku pots for another firing.

First couple of loads with underglaze and clear crackle.

During the raku firing I also made my first ever cone 10 cone packs. I know! The people I fired with always made them. Now I've done it too.

My first cone packs.

Another batch of raku, mostly luster glazes.

Same pots, other side.

This video is of the second batch of clear crackle pots
that Deborah helped me with by spritzing the pots
with water to promote crackling.

Finally it was time to start loading the gas kiln. We had a fairly loose pack due to Jeff needing to get some plates fired (and that we didn't have enough work for a tight pack). And here I thought I was making too much work...

Back stack.

Front stack (along with my cone packs)
and you can see by the flames that we started
"candling" the kiln.

By the time I left, the temperature was up to 866 F.
It will go to 1590 F and hold until
the morning when we start the firing process.


Sunday, October 30, 2016

2016-10-01 - Saturday - More glazing

I came back Saturday to finish the job, which included more dipping, pouring, trailing, spraying, and painting. I keep adding more treatments and layers to my glaze work.

Jeff Pender and I were feverishly glazing for the fall shows and firing the kiln on Monday.

These pots dried in front of the fan from last night
and look quite a bit different.

I love the way this shino looks when it dries.

I really do.

Still glazing...



2016-09-30 - Friday - Glaze-a-thon

Friday found me glazing my cone 10 work. I had a lot of it to get through and I dove right in.

I only got the first round (mostly shino) finished before I had to leave this note.


Saturday, October 29, 2016

2016-09-29 - Thursday - Raku glazing

Thursday I glazed a bunch of raku pots. As usual, I tried out a bunch of new ideas using some of my underglazes and different types of brushes. I do really enjoy glazing.


2016-09-28 - Wednesday - Tea bowls and barred owls

Wednesday I trimmed the tea bowls I made. I like the feet on these.

When I got home I heard some barred owls creating a racket while I was in the driveway so I turned on my phone camera. It's hard to hear, so turn up your volume. They made some of their regular calls and then there were some jungle noises too.

Since YouTube won't let you upload and audio only file, I borrowed this photo from the Carolina Raptor Center's website. If you get a chance to go there, please do. It's a great experience.


Friday, October 28, 2016

2016-09-27 - Tuesday - Binkley plaque and shino crystals

Tuesday we got a wonderful surprise. My parents had a commemorative made for Binkley. It's very well done and it means a lot to us.

Tuesday night when I was at Clayworks I noticed the crystals growing in the orange carbon trap shino we use. The lid has been off this bucket for a while now since the glaze was too thin and we're waiting for some of the water to evaporate. There are soluble salts in the glaze and when they are exposed to the air they grow impressive crystals.

No flash.

The flash really makes the strands visible.


2016-09-26 - Monday - Too many Cheezits

I understand that I am an old curmudgeon, but I really don't understand the need for all these variations in products we have loved for years. I recently mentioned the crazy Oreo flavors. Now they have gone way too far with Cheez-Its.

I have been eating Cheez-Its since I was a child and regular Cheez-It flavor has been fine for me for fifty years now and I'm not going to start changing at this point.

Why all the Cheez-Its?

Here are the current iterations from Wikipedia:

There are a variety of related Cheez-It products, including
  • Baby Swiss
  • Cheddar Cheese Grooves
  • Cheddar Jack
  • Cheez-It Big (a larger cracker more suitable for garnishing or dipping)
  • Chipotle Cheddar
  • Colby
  • Duoz Sharp Cheddar & Parmesan
  • Extra Toasty
  • Hot & Spicy (made with Tabasco)
  • Hot and Spicy Grooves
  • Italian Four Cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Pepper Jack
  • Provolone (With Real Hickory Smoke Flavor Added)
  • Reduced Fat
  • Reduced Fat White Cheddar
  • Toasty
  • Scrabble Junior
  • Sharp White Cheddar Grooves
  • Snack Mix
  • Snack Mix Double Cheese
  • White cheddar
  • Whole Grain
  • Zesty Cheddar Ranch Grooves
...and these were already discontinued:
  • Parmesan & Garlic
  • Asiago
  • Chili Cheese
  • Romano
Too many Cheez-Its.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

2016-09-24 - Saturday - Back in the mountains

Saturday we were back in the NC mountains in Sylva to look for wedding venues. Stephanie and Brett are planning on getting married in July of 2017 and the wedding will be in Sylva near where they met.

View from the library on the hill.

Stephanie and Brett in front of the library on the hill.

We had supper at Haywood Smokehouse
and I got a kick out of the sauce descriptions.

This was parked outside of our hotel
and I felt sure it would transform into a robot.


2016-09-22 - Thursday - Tea bowls

Thursday night I made a bunch of tea bowls because that's what you do. I like making them since they are small and somewhat easy to make and are great glaze tests for new ideas.

And you can drink from them.


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016-09-21 - Wednesday - Home again

We left Highlands and stopped for a photo of a spectacular view.

Wednesday night I made another garlic pot. It was good to be back at it.


2016-09-20 - Tuesday - Highlands, NC, part 2

Tuesday was the second day in Highlands, NC.

We visited the Bascom Center For The Visual Arts and saw work by a lot of great North Carolina pottery. It was a nice facility with lots of great artwork.

Supper was in the "barn". A large structure with walls of windows that opened completely to the outside. It was a beautiful evening.

The cottages.

The Bascom.

The Bascom.

The barn.

The flaming peaches in brandy.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2016-09-19 - Monday - Highlands, NC

We went to Highlands, NC for a few days for a company planning retreat. It was beautiful.

The view at breakfast and lunch.


Japanese dogwood.

The view at supper.


2016-09-17 - Saturday - Muddy Fun and teapots

Saturday was Muddy Fun day and we had another great group of students and wonderful volunteers.

Angela helping out.

Vince explaining process.

After lunch I worked on my teapots for a while.


Monday, October 24, 2016

2016-09-15 - Thursday - Urns and teapots

On Thursday I worked on the pet urns and the lids for the teapots. Unfortunately the urn photos were horribly out of focus so they are no longer with us.


2016-09-13 - Tuesday - Range hood mods and urns

While we like the new range hood, the lighting was not the best. It uses two halogen spot light bulbs that only throw light on the front two burners, leaving the back half of the range in darkness. I found that if I installed regular light bulbs it lit the range up nicely, but the glare of the bulbs hanging down was awful.

I made a temporary modification with some aluminum foil which works very well. I plan on cutting some flashing to replace it and giving it a bit more of a finished look.

Tuesday night I worked on the replacement urns for the ones I broke. Onward and upward.