Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Vacation Before the Storm

Well, not really. But Kara, Nolan and Milo and I are chilling on Bald Head Island for a few days. Very nice, hopefully some good R&R before my workshop in Floyd, VA next week. I'll be at the Jacksonville Center for the Arts leading a workshop on enhancing ceramic surfaces. We will be looking at slipping, carving, sgraffito, inlay, mishima, sprigging, resists, terra sig, water carving, slip-trailing, glaze layering, wax resist patterning, etc. along with a myriad other techniques. There is still room, so if any of y'all are interested or know someone who is, you can go to http://jacksonvillecenter.org/education/2010-classes/classes-by-media/scratching-the-surface-cer062810/

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Earthenware Soda Unloading

So alot has happened in the last few weeks: 2 sales and lots of lack of sleep, so that will be my excuse for not getting images up and word out about the Claymakers low fire soda excursion. Overall, I was pleased with the firing. I think some of the students were a little disappointed because we did have quite a bit of dry whiteness, but there were also some real winners in the firing.

The front of the kiln was much cooler and less reduced than the middle or back. The pic above is the front stack after the firing. The middle of the kiln was way hotter (cone 1 flat, whereas cone 04 throughout the front and back of the kiln) and much more reduced, so we got really good glaze melt, slip flashing, and soda coverage in the middle stack. The back stack was a nice mix of the front and middle: not too hot, not too reduced, just right. Although, I will say the middle looked more like a typical (i.e. cone 6 or 10) soda firing whereas the front was one step away from firing in an electric kiln.

Here are all the pots laid out on the ground, we were able to get quite a few pots in this kiln load. We had a nice variety of sizes and shapes to help motivate the flame and soda distribution.

A couple of super sweet pitchers by one of the students, Lisa Brown. Her pitcher forms were in the middle and picked up some good color and soda glazing.

This final pic is of my "mimbres" inspired cross-eyed tadpole bowl. I really like it, and the interior is finished with terra sigs, however I remembered after firing it that I had made it out of a cone 6 red stoneware, so this pot is punky and still very absorbent. (I made a purple cabbage coleslaw in it and now its stained blue).

Like I said, overall I was very happy with the firing, but I would reduce more next time and also try and wait until some cone 1's are tipping, because in my eyes the middle of the kiln worked out the best. And the students who had work there were the lucky ones (Sorry Corinne!). Also, the clay body that got the most color and took soda was Highwater Clays Earthen Red, a fairly smooth clay body with a range of cone 06-5, so no worries with overfiring. I'm happy to send out sig, slip, and glaze recipes to anyone interested. Just let me know!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sale. This. Weekend!

In the final stretch here: glazing, cleaning, displaying, sprucing up Nine Toes Pottery for this weekend's 2nd Annual Happy Sprummer Sale. The sale starts with a Friday night party, June 11, 6-9pm and then continues on Saturday, June 12, 10-4pm. Directions are on the right sidebar.

Last year was my best sale to date, so despite my best efforts to keep expectations down, they are hovering way up in the stratosphere. One reason for my visions of grandeur is because of the pots that will be on hand. I'm super excited to have Noah Riedel as my guest artist, and I'm looking forward to seeing what he pulls out of his hat. He should have a great offering given that he took 2nd Place at last year's Strictly Functional National Ceramics Exhibition with one of his cool pitchers and that his show and obligation card are quickly filling up as people start to notice this guy knows what he is doing and what he is doing is good. Long story short: good guy, good pots, 'nuff said. And, I'm liking what's coming out of my kilns lately, too. I have some new "cut bowls" that I'm jazzed about, and some big ole' manly man tankards that would quench any gender's thirst in a big way. So, I hope to see some of you followers, and invite others to hang out, snack a little, and buy some pots on what will hopefully be a sunny, unseasonably cool day. See you there!