Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Tool!

One of my students bought this decorative cheese cutter for me at a second hand store in New Hampshire, but I'm sure you could find one at any specialty kitchen goods store. I've been using it to cut faceted mugs, and decorative rims.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Salad Days at Watershed

Last Saturday, The Watershed Center for Ceramic Arts its annual fundraising event, Salad Days. Each year an artist is selected to create 500 plates over the course of 10 months for the event. this years artist, Adero Willard, created the plates in the image above.
The day included music, salads donated by local restaurants, a pottery sale, and a raffle of items from a dedicated woodfiring. More than the sum of its parts, Salad Days in an annual gathering of sculptors, potters, and supporters of the ceramic arts. There are always a few surprises in the crowd, and a few faces I only see once a year at this event. Many thanks to Salad Days regular John Morrill Read, part of the Watershed extended family, for the photos. I was kicking myself at the event for forgetting my camera, but John came through. Doug and I donated three pieces to the raffle, and it was fun to see how they came out, and to see them go to their new homes.

Next year's Salad Days event will be on Saturday, July 11th. See you there!

P.S. Next Fine Mess event: August 1st at Ember Grove.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Soda Firing Checklist

We unloaded a nice firing on Sunday, the best out of the soda kiln yet, except for one little kiln bomb which did some damage. I find that there is so much preparation to the firing that I always forget something, so I made up this checklist to keep things orderly:

Checklist for Soda Firing:

♦ Soda Mix
♦ Wadding
♦ In little balls?
♦ Door Mud
♦ Slurry
♦ Newspaper
♦ Cone Packs
♦ Extension Cords
♦ Clip-on lights
♦ Towels
♦ Sponges
♦ Water Bucket
♦ Touch up Glaze /Cups & Brushes

Additionally, I made a list of all the things that need to be mixed prior to the firing, so I won't be scrambling around for that envelope flap or Seven-Eleven receipt that I wrote the kiln wash proportions on. Eventually all this will be old hat, but I'm not there yet.


3# Silica
3# Alumina
2# Medium Grog

Soda Mix
¼ bucket of wood chips
2 ¼ lbs Baking Soda
1 ¾ lbs Soda Ash
4 lbs whiting
Just before application, add water to the consistency of tuna salad.

(For soaking newspapers to seal brick door)
Add water to the wet recycle bucket until it is the consistency of a milkshake' You'll have to keep adding water while you are applying the newspapers, as it will tend to thicken up.

Door Mud
50% Fire Clay
50% Alumina

Kiln Wash
50% Silica
50% Alumina
Water to the thickness of heavy cream

Cone Packs
Front pack: 012, 05, 3 & 6
Rear pack: 8, 9, 10, 11