I have two standing rules regarding unloading the kiln: I won't open the door until a twist of paper, stuck in through the spy, does not smoke or smolder. This tells me that the kiln is below 450°. The second rule is that I will not unload any pots until I can do so with bare hands. Even my most sensitive glazes are not more sensitive than my hands, and if they were I'd replace or reformulate them, because a glaze that can't handle hand-comfort level also can't handle the dishwasher or the microwave.
But boy: the temptation. I am dying to know if the whole kiln is as good as the front sundae dish, and also, there something funny going on further back, like maybe a pot slumped?
Anyway. I'll find out soon enough. Well, not soon enough, but soon.
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.