Monday, April 21, 2014

The Morning After...Woodfiring

It's the morning after a woodfiring.  I've gotten a good nights sleep, my morning caffeine, the second coating of lotion on my heat dried skin, assessed the injuries incurred during firing and gotten a second round of Ibuprofen into my system.  Just an hour away from being right as rain.  :-)

video

Having now completed our 11th firing I feel like we've arrived at a process that works well for us.  Instead of doing everything in one four day weekend, we've spread the tasks out a bit.  One weekend I glaze everything I think will fit in the kiln and then some.  The following Friday is spent wadding the pots and loading the kiln.  Then after a good nights sleep, Saturday morning the kiln is lit and we  fire into mid-day Sunday.  The weekend after that we unload.  



It's a lot of work but so worth it.  Today, I'll be loading a glaze load in the electric kiln to get one more load done for the the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour next weekend.  I'm a potter, it's what we do - always have one more load to get done before something. 

Have a great week. 

ps - 
Peeking in the wood kiln will begin on Wednesday and it will be unloaded on Saturday evening during our kiln opening party.

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Fun Challenge

Yesterday Glynnis Lessing posted this video on her Facebook encouraging followers to try out the technique on their own. 



Harlan House RCA - Canadian potter at the throwing wheel. from Harlan House on Vimeo.

At the end of my time throwing today, I had about 5 pounds of clay left, so I figured I'd give it a try.  It's not as big as the one made in the video but it seemed to work pretty well for me.   Since I didn't have a throwing stick or dowel, I ended up using the handle of my long handled sponge. This was a great challenge and I hope to try this technique again in the next couple weeks. 


Give it a try.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Turquoise Glaze Test

A couple weeks ago, I mixed up a small batch of a glaze I've been meaning to try for a while.  I've had a great cone 10 Turquoise glaze really wanted to have something similar looking for cone 6 electric. Yesterday I ran the electric kiln and had a chance to run some tests tiles to see how the glaze performed.  


The test tiles seemed to turn out pretty well, but the glaze on this test mug didn't see to do as well. The mug is made from a white cone 6 stoneware, where as the test tiles are buff stoneware coated with white slip.  I'll need to test this glaze further to see if I can isolate why the mug bubbled so badly and the tiles didn't.  

Something to working on tomorrow I guess.  Have a great week.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Little Shop In Dover

Last Sunday, I dropped off pottery at a fun little shop in Dover Minnesota called Simple Soaps for Simple folks.  the owner of the shop Shanna and I met a couple years ago and I've greatly enjoyed occasionally having my pottery in her shop.  



If you find your self in southeastern Minnesota, I encourage you to top by the shop, check out Shanna's soaps and all the other gorgeous crafts items she has for sale.  You might even find a great new piece of pottery you just gotta have.   

To follow simple Soaps for Simple Folks on Facebook click HERE

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Long Drive


Went on a nice long drive today visiting the shops and galleries in SE Minnesota where I have work, and checked out a couple new potential locations.  It was a great day for driving and wonderful to spend a little time visiting at the galleries and getting a good handle on inventory status after the long cold winter. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

When The Fortune Cookie Speaks...

you should listen!!


So... after leaving my full-time job at the beginning of the year, I've been working part-time as a contractor for my former employer until they have a new hire in place.  With the additional studio time I've had available I've been busy making lots of the pieces that potters sell lots of - cups, mugs, bowls, baking dishes, those kinds of things. And while there is always a touch of creativity in them for the most part they don't feel like a creative task to me.  

At the end of my work week yesterday, I was in a little funk, feeling like I really needed a creative kick in the pants and should take a break from the inventory building phase I've been in to do a few more creative pieces for a while. Of course I didn't get right into that and instead decided on getting take out from a local Asian restaurant.

Apparently... the universe thinks I should be spending my studio time more creatively too.  Today's activities will including finishing up the things I already have on drying boards, yoga, grocery shopping and then back in the studio for some creative work.

Hope you have a creative day as well. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pick of the Kiln

While I had several pieces I like come out of the kiln yesterday, this collection are my favorites.  A friend's daughter is expecting a new addition to their family and this child's dish set is a special gift for the new little one.