Saturday, April 25, 2009

What a Difference

Friday we unloaded the woodkiln. Most folks were happy with their results. A few were disappointed with some pots. I was thrilled with everything I had in this firing. The maintainence we did to tighten up the kiln and the great weather for the firing really paid off both in ease of firing and results. I'm going to shut up now and show you the pictures.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Kinder and Gentler Woodfiring

This Weekend, we fired the wood kiln again. We had some issues last time with flames coming out of the kiln in the wrong places, backdrafting, and poor draw. We packed the cracks with fiber and the kiln is working much better. We were also very careful not to overstoke or let too much air in the front. The result was a very cleanly burning well controlled firing.I started the kiln on Friday. There was some loading to do first so it was 10:30 before the fires were lit but by 7:30 when I left we were up to 1400F and climbing. I went back out Saturday afternoon and helped for 4 or 5 hrs. The night crew reported no stalling , no excess coal buildup, no related panic, clean burning and over 2000F. I left about 4 and at that point we were stoking a couple of bags (yes, bags) of scrap dowel stock every 10 minutes or so. It was all very relaxed and undramatic but cone 11 was down on top, 10 starting to go in the bottom of the first chamber and we had just begun stoking the soda chamber @ 1500F. The last report on facebook this morning says that it finished up just as happily as it started and all is well. It takes a lot of work and cooperation from at lot of people to do this and I would like to thank them all. I can't wait to open next week and see the results!

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Pots for Springfair

I had pots in two kilns that we opened this week and had some good results with baking dishes, mixing bowls and expresso cups from both the gas and electric kilns. I also made some ice cream bowls that I was very pleased with in a nice blue grey celadon glaze. For you puppy fans,
everybody is growing like crazy and getting ready to open their eyes.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It's Good to Have Friends

One of the best things that I have gained from becoming a potter is the friends I have made.The bell at the left is a case in point. Sarah Culbreth taught me how to make the form. Gary Adkins of AK Clay gave me a hundred pounds of the clay that he processes into Ohio Slip and said "try to throw it". Gary was making a delivery to a neighboring potter, Jason Bove so he drove the clay to Lebanon. Jason held onto the clay until I could pick it up. It throws nicely but if you use it as a clay body and fire it very high, it turns into a glaze( read that as puddle ) in your kiln. Gary sells dry processed material to use as a slip or in glazes and used this way, it is a great product up through cone 12 or so.

But back to my point, four different potters were involved in making this bell. I have mentioned my friend Mike Baum several times in this Blog. Mike has fired pots for many potters in the Clay Alliance and his favorite farewell seems to be " Bring some pots over for the next firing." Jean Ann Bolliger has taught me nearly everything I know about kilns and glazes, gratis. People openly share recipes for glazes that are usually designated by the first name of the person who developed it. It's just as amazing that when potters see a glaze with a name like "Pete's Red" they immediately know that Pete is Pete Pinnell. I have met dozens of generous, helpful people through the Cincinnati Clay Alliance and workshops I have attended. Young, old, gay, straight, black, white, it really doesn't matter. Some folks might think we are all competitors but it really doesn't look that way from here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Puppies, Puppies, Puppies

Blondie decided to have her puppies Monday night.Two orange roan girls, one orange roan boy, and one blue roan boy. They are wiggling and squeeking and doing fine.I have included a couple of pictures of adult English Cockers since two day old puppies are rather generic looking.