Friday, October 28, 2011

June Perry Says:

This was such a helpful comment from June Perry of Shambala Pottery, that I wanted to share it with all of you:
"Any glaze with around 15% whiting, dolomite, barium or a combination of any of those or with some boron or talc, will repel the soda and should work fine. The color may not be the same as in a non soda or salt atmosphere.
High clay shinos work pretty well, as does temmoku, amber celadons, many ash glazes, Shaner oribe, salt yellow, white salt (most of these are in John Britt's cone 10 glaze book). There's also a large file of soda/salt glazes and slips that I and a couple of other members put on my yahoo soda salt group. You have to be a member to access them (no charge - just a way to keep spammers out). It's not an active site; but it's more of a repository for the recipes, photos of some soda/salt kiln and members work."

June also writes a very entertaining blog.

I love the internet.

I Did Not Know That: The Feldspar Edition

While mixing up test glazes, I came upon a recipe calling for G-200 Feldspar. Well, hmmm. I have Custer, a potash feldspar. I have Kona F-4, a soda feldspar. As far as I know, for our purposes, there are only potash and soda 'spars. Wrong! G-200 is 75% potash, and 25% soda feldspar. So, I should be able to achieve the same thing by substituting the appropriate proportions of Custer and Kona.

Thanks, Professor Google!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bag Walls Blues

My first order of the day: re-build the bag walls. This isn't really a big job, but kind of a messy, tedious one, since the brick are all soldered together with soda glass. But the bag walls are leaning, and though they seem stable enough, it's hard to tell if they would still be stable at Cone 10, or if the solidified glass is what is holding them together.
So, big chisel, 2-lb sledge, bench grinder, and I'm off to the races.

I am carless today (don't ask...f-ing cars, anyway. I hate them; the only thing I hate worse is NOT having a car.) or I would just pop off to INFAB and buy some new brick, which was the original plan. But the wall needs to be rebuilt today, so I am just chipping apart and grinding the existing brick. Holy accumulated soda! Keep in mind that I have been firing this kiln for less than a year. I've lost count but maybe, what, fifteen times? Soda is corrosive to brick, even super duty. The brick around the soda ports are already noticably eaten away.

This problem needs addressing, but not today. Today I need ot get the kiln ready for the workshop this weekend!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

One Tree Hill Teapot Video

Watch Judy Pierce of One Tree Hill Pottery making one of her fantastic teapots!

Thursday Inspiration: Lisa Buck

Lisa Buck hails from Minnesota, where you can't swing a wire tool without hitting a potter. That saturation has bred a culture of mutual inspiration, and many of my favorite potters work from the upper Midwest. On these pieces I particularly appreciate that Buck is working within a fairly narrow palette, and letting the details of form do the talking.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Photo Tutorial - Slab-Built Lidded Jar

I've seen wavy cutting wires made from stretched springs, but this one was made by separating out a single wire from a steel cable, the likes of which you can buy by the foot at the hardware store. Hat tip to my dear friend Ginette, who is also my student but could just as easily be my instructor. The steel-cable method produces a cutting wire with a shallower wave.

I paint a bit of slurry on the rim, so I can use it to demark where to cut the textured slab which will be the top.

After attaching and smoothing, I made a one-inch cut on the narrow side, an inch or so down from the top. This is so, when I cut off the top (to become the lid), the resistance to the wire doesn't deform the piece.

I rolled a small coil - smaller in diameter than my pinkie finger - then flattened it, and attached it to the inner edge of the body of the pot, to stabilize the lid.

Still needs a bit of spiffying up with a paddle and rib, but viola, more or less.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Look, Pots!

It started raining before I could shoot many of the pots from the last firing, but I was able to get a few. These photos are not my best effort - I just pinned the backdrop up, and snapped away freehand. But I'm not applying to the Smithsonian with them, these are pretty much just to show all of you out in TV Land.

I discovered that shooting outside gives me a better result than any lighting arrangement I am able to achieve in my living room, short of purchasing some fancy-schmancy white lights and those little sideways umbrella things. I'd like to have that stuff, but even if I did, I'd still just pin up the backdrop on the deck on unloading day, because setting up is a big pain, and I'm only likely to do it when I need to photos to look awesome.
My deck in the afternoon is in solid shade - the shadow of the house is on it. But there is still a ton more light (hey, wait, does that make any sense? Does light weigh anything?) than there is indoors, even in my brightest room. But because it is in shade, the light is diffused enough not to create harsh shadows. One - the amber celadon bowl - was taken in the morning, and there is a great big reflection on it, which is why it would be better to wait until afternoon. Except it rained this afternoon, sooo...
Anyway, I'm repeating myself. Here are some pots. Most of these will be available at Bay View Company in Saco after tomorrow.

Ready, Set, Unload!

Looks good so far! I used more soda this time, so things are a little juicier.

Still good...

Hey, whoa! Check out that bowl on the fourth layer. That started out as round as the one above it.

Holy Warpage, Batman!

That's what you get when you flatten Cone 11, I guess. Still, it's not the world's worst bowl. Here is is, unloaded.

First Peek!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Boss

...has a few thoughts to add, pursuant to my earlier post.

Blessedly, this next kiln load is for Bay View Company, who always, always, pay me my money - right on the spot. Shouting out a big thanks!

Saturday, October 8, 2011