We fired the soda kiln at the Watershed Center on May 2, and just unloaded it today. This was our second firng in this kiln, and we definitely improved on the first: As usual, I find the bottoms of bowls almost more handsome than the rest.
One great addition this firing was the use of Bauer Orange Flashing Slip:
41.9 EPK 41.9 OM 4 5.7 Borax 10.5 Zircopax
Apply very thinly to bisque. Works on greenware, too. Do not apply over glaze.
This week: Monday -- Beginner's Class, Portland Pottery Tuesday -- Fiona getting spayed! Find sub for Intermediate class. Wednesday -- Trim lids & finish casseroles Thursday -- Car to Lewiston for new head gasket. Glaze cat urns. Friday -- Glaze & load Saturday -- Firing; photograph new pots. Sunday -- Mother's Day in So Po; unload kiln.
The last time we fired this kiln, we had a tough time keeping it in a sufficiently strong reduction. This I blamed on a very loose door of castable bricks, so we took steps after we loaded to address the problem. Using door mud (50% fire clay, 50% alumina) we filled in the gaps, then papered over the door with newspaper dipped in a slurry of recycled clay: Relaxing while waiting for cones to fall: Adding the soda mix: We had no trouble reducing this time! Unloading Sunday. In the pouring rain, probably. I'll keep you "posted."
Lori Keenan Watts (aka me) is a potter, gardener, and avid reader from Augusta, Maine. Though I started my university education in surface design for fabric, clay quickly grabbed me by the heart and redirected my creative impulses. I have been a potter for over 25 years -- hard to believe. The most valuable years of my ceramic education were spent in graduate study at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, under the tutalage of Dan Anderson and Paul Dresang.
My aesthetic is guided by my love of the material itself. What fascinates me and makes a pot compelling for me is the clay-ness of clay: the squooshiness that becomes the adamantine solidity. I also like patterns, unexpected proportions, and when the flame comes along and dissolves part of my careful decorating efforts! I am obstinate about this aesthetic, to a point which might be called pig-headed, but hey, if you don't like what you make, why bother?
My happy little family also includes my husband, musician and photographer (and author of the book Alewife) Doug Watts; five cats; and a turtle, all foundlings and rescues of one stripe or another.