Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thoughts on the 36th Firing



I apologize that I haven't got any pictures for you, sooner. I've been busy sanding and grading the work that came out on Thursday! I took two days to unload (and "digest") the pots. Mostly because of my busy schedule with family matters, meetings, etc. and not that I wasn't excited to see the results. Seems like I avoided the usual kiln blues by slowing down the unloading. I felt much more sympathetic to my expectations this way.

I wanted to jot down a few thoughts and issue a general warning to potters here before I sign off, before I forget. First off, there was a fair amount of kiln magic which I am always grateful! As I've never depended on the wood kiln as the sole decider on the surfaces on my pots, it's always a gift that a few pots come from the kiln much greater than the sum of it's parts, in no small part due to its firing "experience"!

The soda/whiting turds (as Keith Phillips calls them! ;-) ) had a minimal effect on the pots, but left a mess on the shelves. I won't try this again! The shelves will clean up OK, but it actually glazed the bottoms of the several pots that sat nearby. More on this later. I will try to sift through this later this week after the pots are off to the shows and I have time to sit down and look at the "the data" ( stare at pots and shelves and pictures).

One of my fatal flaws as a potter is go headlong in trying something like the soda ash/whiting "bombs" with testing it in a much smaller scale, in hopes for an expanded effort in a future firing. As Tom would say, test, test, test!

I will save some of my other notes for a later post and share with you a few pictures of the pots.


This series of bottles was one of the most satisfying ventures in this cycle. It's funny how the energy of a potting experience can endure throughout the process, and an especially successful one that continues to give pleasure when the pots come out of the kiln. It is the essence of making good pots I think, enjoying and reveling in one's work!

This bottle may be my pick of the litter! Maybe because it is wearing a new color. (lol) CLEAR!
John brought a bucket of Don Davis' clear glaze over and after painting some quick brush strokes in black underglaze I dipped this bottle in it. If I had only used this kind of approach/restraint with the soda ash/whiting! ;-)

I have lots of pictures to take for the online edition of my show at American Folk Art in Asheville that opens this coming week!! So I'd better get to it!

Here's a sneak peek of of a piece that will be in that that show. The show opens this coming weekend but the online version goes live tomorrow afternoon. More later..


Coming Up: guest blogger Don Pilcher
on Critics, stay tuned!