April 29, 2009

Mixing It Up

A few things to report, today. Aside from a couple of new grates needed, and stoke door maintenance, the kiln is ready! The pots are being bisque fired on a daily rotation. Clay waiting to be made into the pots needed for the show at Leslie's. Also, Micah and I cranked up the old mixer. If you remember from previous posts, I purchased an old mixer from Tyrone Larson over in Asheville, back a few months ago and lugged it back up the mountain from Asheville. (the Larsen's used to live just over a few miles from me until about 10 years ago.) They have, no doubt, mixed tons of clay in this mixer and moved it to Asheville with them. They sold it to me, and I hauled it back "home". It seems to be working just fine. The photo above shows a "wave" of fire clay/sand mix I'm using to clean out the mixer. First we hosed out all of the iron rust flakes and leaves, etc. that were in the mixer. We then dumped in about 100 lbs. of sand and 200lbs of fire clay, added water and watched the mix with our hands in our pockets! I still want to devise some safety switch and screen covering over the hopper. The auger moves pretty slowly but I don't want to take any chances. There is a reverse and forward switch that helps mix the batch. When it was ready I reversed the switch and the clay came out the 3 inch pug at the other end of the mixer. (sorry, no picture) I think I could mix at least 400 lbs at a time, maybe more. There's nothing like a big ole batch of fresh clay to get a potter spinning!

I'm the helper at Evelyn and Lil's school in the morning so I better hit the sack. More on the May Ferrin show to come. Also, painting and glazing!