Sunday, January 28, 2024

Shop Update: Chubby Cats!

Remember that story I told you, about losing the wand in the burner channel during the firing? I was lucky the copper & zinc in the brass didn't do more harm. One thing it did do, though, was interact with the items in the kiln that were wearing Bauer Orange Flashing Slip. The white clay pieces turned blue (luckily just a few seashells intended to be refrigerator magnets) which they brown clay pieces achieved almost a wood-fired look. Several of the pinch-cats fell in this category. (LOL CATegory, get it?)

I've been putting a few of these critters in every firing lately. They amuse me to make, and it is not secret that I am a cat lover. I like thinking up their names & personalities, which are loosely based on the many cats I have known. As usual, most of these sold the day I listed them! I do have two left: Gaia and Woody

Today is packing & shipping, putting away the photography equipment (can't wait til I have a dedicated space for this. Such a pain in hte ass to put up & tear down the whole thing), posting the functional ware in the shop, and working on the Maine Pottery Tour! 

Sunday, January 21, 2024

So, Funny Story...


You can recognize the copper blue in 
the burner channel
It's time for our favorite game, that we play after every firing, called How Did Lori Fuck Up This Time? 

I'm kidding, sort of! But I am serious about sharing my goofs, large & small, because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels like a screwup most of the time - & I want you all to know: you can screw up, even big-time, and still do okay. I do! All the time. 

So, what happened this time? Well, it was kind of funny...or rather, it is now, now that I know it didn't cause any serious mayhem. Before the firing I took apart the sprayer & cleaned out any clumps of crystals of soda ash that might cause it not to work properly when I needed it. I was actually pretty proud of myself for doing this! Like, look at me, all preventative & stuff! I am one competent human! 


That crusty black material is what remains 
of the spray wand.

Apparently when I put it back together, I failed to screw on a little collar that keeps the brass wand attached to the sprayer hose. How did I discover this, you may ask? Well, my first clue was when, while spraying soda through the port, the pressure from the tank blew the rod right off the hose...and right into the port. 
There was nothing to be done about this in the moment, of course, except replace the wand (YAY EXTRA PARTS), continue spraying, and hope for the best. Brass is about 2/3s copper and 1/3 zinc - both will volatize well before ^10. I feared the fugitive copper might cause some flashing, and I really had (have, lol) no idea what fugitive zinc might do. 

I saw little evidence, actually, that the copper did much. It seemed only to affect pieces that had a specific flashing slip - Bauer Orange. The BMix pieces wearing Bauer turned blue - not the teal blue I would expect of copper, but what looked like a watery cobalt blue. Those are quite nice. There were only a couple items in brown stoneware wearing flashing slip, and good thing, too, because those were less nice; a dull mud-brown color with little shine. 

These shells had only Bauer Orange 
Flashing Slip applied.
So, weird but could have been worse! Overall a very successful firing; I will photograph some pieces on Wednesday & update the online shop on Thursday. Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Glaze Goals 2024

On New Years Eve, a friend & I took a hike on the Cliff Walk in Scarborough. (Maine, of course.) It was a grey and overcast day, cold but not too - a day that I once would have stayed home & wished for spring. 
I hike in winter now, with the persuasion of a good friend, and I highly recommend it! I don't hate winter anymore, & I've found that if I dress right (layers!) I don't get cold, thanks to the exertion. 

Anyway! The Cliff Walk has a lot of low cliffs (duh) and also a few stone beaches, where we found oyster shells. They have the most amazing color, and a surface like a frosty-matte glaze. I didn't keep this one (leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but memories) but I did snap this photo...I want to see if I can do something like this with glaze. 

More for the fun of solving the puzzle than for my studio work, although who knows? My clay journey has surprised me more than once. I'm thinking RIO & copper carb, brushed on a textured white stoneware under Rhodes 32

I hope 2024 brings you joy & the world peace. Happy New Year to all!