Friday, April 23, 2010

Crumbly Lemonade

I thought this piece was dry enough and that my firing cycle long enough to dry it thoroughly through and through... but in the very first rise of the kiln up to 200 degrees, when water begins to boil, there were some pockets of wet deep within, and that little bit of steam caused all this mess.

The bad news was that about $20+ worth of underglazes were layered onto this sucker and it wasted a bunch of energy blowing it up and then turning it into gravel.

The good news, if there is any, is that this was a piece that I wasn't so sure about. I'm saved several hours of sanding and mess and another firing. And there's one less big, heavy piece to haul up to the show--tho I'm SURE it would've sold if I'd had it there. It was still an interesting piece to work on and learn from during the forming process.

The longer I'm a potter the more I learn what silly mistakes I can make.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Harvest from Spring Anagama Firing

One of the hardest things about woodfiring is waiting a week to let it cool down before being able to see the pots. Friday we unloaded the Digger Mtn Anagama Kiln after a very long seven days.

Everyone was positively giddy when we saw the first pieces come out with great ash coverage, many crystals and sugary surfaces. As you can see from the top photo, the ash flash was on most every piece. Digger Mtn kiln's Jay Widmer believes it is our particular mix of fir, maple and wet wood (this year alder) that helps develop the colors and crystals we get.

Fellow fire-ers liked the glitzy bumpy vase in the middle, but my favorite for now is the quieter fluted vase at the bottom since it has color and markings that fit the shape well. Got some great color on other pieces and will have to see if the brightness of it all grows on me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Variations in a Single Firing

This past month I've been working on a set of dinnerware: eight big plates, small plates, smaller plates and bowls. I'm never done so many pieces that were all supposed to match. Luckily the folks buying this set knew that from top to bottom they would get some differences in the glaze and the way the clay looked. That is sure what they're going to get.

The above images illustrate just how broad these variations can be. The three plates on the shelf go from regular reduced atmosphere in the front to very oxidized in the back. The bowls also show how each one dried and warped a bit differently as well as getting different finishes from the firing. Never a dull moment when it comes to pottery...

Below is a complete dinner set that matches pretty well considering.