Monday, April 25, 2011

May 7 Art Festival at Charlotte's Historic Rosedale House

We will be bringing some work to the art festival at Historic Rosedale in Charlotte May 7. This is an intimate show of less than 20 potters and artists under one outdoor tent behind a neat old three-story home built in 1850 by Archibald Frew, a merchant, postmaster and tax collector.

The day will include period costumes (left), demonstrations and tours of the house and its wonderful gardens.

If you're nearby, please come and visit. Below, are some pots I'm currently working on that might make it to the show.

Large pasta bowl and casserole with tree motif,
waiting to be fired in wood kiln

Soul Pots that will be glazed in my Southwestern
glaze pattern and fired in electric kiln

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chocolate Bread and Butter, fresh coffee... and lots of pottery

Shelves and tables under the overhang, the night before...

Today was spent cleaning shelves, tables, floors and pots from the latest wood firing. We've got some really nice pots on the shelves, many wood-fired, but quite a few of my popular southwestern glazed. The weathermen say it's going to be rainy and stormy tomorrow, so if you don't want to drive in the rain, come by Sunday. It's supposed to be a clear day Sunday.

Hope to see you this weekend. For breakfast, we'll have freshly roasted organic Columbian and Robusta coffee and chocolate bread with chocolate butter, scones with cream and blueberry jam; lunch, leek and potato soup with lima beans.

Here's a slideshow of some of our latest pots:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Local clay pitcher with flashing slip

We unloaded the kiln today and in spite of the mishaps, it was a good firing. I took a lot of pictures, and I'll take some more tomorrow, but for now, I'll share my favorite from the firing (above). The pitcher is thrown with local clay that I dig on my land. I get a lot of bloating in the clay, but every now and then I get a piece that works, like this one. The white flashing slip is a recipe from Ben Owen which includes some King's Mountain clay.

Levi's big pot got some nice flashing

It gets hot when you climb into a 270-degree
kiln to unload the pots

Sneak Peek

Who knows why the shelf on the top fractured. Could have been a crack when I got the shelf. Could have been cracked during handling and cleaning. You can see the corner down on the floor. I'm thinking it's resting on that bottle, but maybe not.

Let's hope the kiln god (at right) I placed in the foundation of the kiln during construction did his job.

The pitcher and jug on the top shelf didn't fall, and I'm planning on a careful extraction of pots on that shelf when the kiln cools. No reaching in and grabbing a pot off the top shelf until I can get inside and support things while I grab those pots on top.

There's some nice ash drips on the two bottles on the floor. I hope they're all right.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Two Mishaps in Kiln

Small vase extracted from kiln

We had to pull two pots from the kiln during the firing. One had gotten knocked off its wadding and was resting on another pot, the other had gotten knocked over by a post that had fallen from a top shelf after a shelf apparently fractured.

So, I'm feeling disappointed this morning because I know the fractured shelf is resting on some nice pots below it. The mishap could have been worse. The shelf could have collapsed and pots could have tumbled. And there's always the possibility that things could still fall.

I discovered the fractured shelf late in the firing after the last stoke. After flames had subsided enough to allow me to see pots, I pushed the stoke hole cover over a bit and looked inside. I saw some nice ash deposits on the bottle up front which I had placed on its side, resting on wads topped with seashells.

I saw a plate that I had leaned on its side against the wall. It looked intact. At the far left, I saw a post sitting on top of a small bottle which had fallen over. My stomach sank.

Photo at right shows the post that fell and the pot it landed on. I'm not sure where the bowl is that was above the post.

It all makes waiting to see inside that much more difficult.

Stirring a stoke

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shelves are Stocked but we Keep on Firing

I've been remiss keeping up with my blog. I apologize. It's been hectic around here, getting ready for shows, kiln openings and at the same time working on a second order for foot-soaking bowls.

The Celebration of Spring kiln openings is this weekend. A majority of the potters around Seagrove are stocking their shops and organizing special events for the weekend. We're firing the wood kiln tomorrow, and I've been firing soul pots, mugs, creamers, sugar bowls and vases in my southwestern glaze along with the foot-soaking bowls in my electric kilns.

Levi and I loaded the wood kiln today - lots of cereal or soup bowls, some pitchers and quite a few small vases with trees sgraffitoed into a flashing slip that Ben Owen turned me onto. The slip picks up some nice color from the flame. And I place the trees toward the back of the kiln to keep them from being obliterated from ash.

We've got our first large pot in this kiln, one that Levi created using a coiling method. It's 27 inches tall by about 16 inches wide, taking up nearly a whole stack of shelves in the kiln.

Hope we and the rest of the potters who are participating in Celebration of Spring have a good turnout. Maybe we'll see you there. Mary's making chocolate bread and leek and potato soup. I'll be brewing some of my freshly roasted organic coffee for the early birds. Our shelves are stocked with pots.

Levi carries his large vase out of the shed to load into kiln

Front of the kiln

Behind the front

A little further back

And the back