Originally from Miami, FL, I developed an interest in pottery after writing a couple of stories on potters for The Enquirer Journal in Monroe, NC. I settled in the area in the 1980s, covering Seagrove for the Courier-Tribune in Asheboro. I stepped behind the potter's wheel full time in 1986, when I opened up WILD ROSE POTTERY in Whynot, just south of Seagrove. I now own and operate FROM THE GROUND UP, just south of Seagrove. I also play Irish flute.
Clouds moved in and gusts of wind picked up as we finished firing the kiln Friday at around 5 p.m., a 17-hour firing.
We took the kiln up slowly this firing. Levi started with gas around 10 p.m. Thursday, and stayed with the kiln until 5 a.m. when Mary took over. I took over about 8 a.m. Levi and I began to stoke a bit more heavily after lunch.
And then we noticed one of his big pots had a big crack right in the middle. Hopefully, it won't fall over and mess up other pots around it. I won't make any guesses as to the cause of the crack until we unload.
I stoked a lot of small sticks into the outside two bottom passives for a few hours at the end of the firing. We reached cone 10 at the back and stoked heavily and sealed it up slowly.
We have two stacks of shelves in this kiln load - one in the very back and one in the front - with big pots in between. I usually place pots glazed in an ash glaze in the back of the kiln as the glaze can mature at a lower temperature, and the back of the kiln is usually two or three cones lower than the front.
But I didn't have any pots glazed in my wood ash, so I chose to place shino-glazed pots in the back. And I set the back shelves away from the back wall more, hoping this will help the pots get hotter in the back. I also stacked a little looser on the shelves, both in the back and the front.
I was reading an Owen Rye article where he says a loosely packed kiln tends to produce an oxidized atmosphere. Well, that's not what I want, either, but we'll see. Levi wants to develop some early reduction (body reduction) thinking it may help with getting some more red on the shino pots.
Maybe, we'll seal up the kiln at the end with a big stoke to create a bit of reduction cooling, too. It will be interesting to see what weather we have tomorrow.
Anyways, here's some pictures of the setting in this kiln:
I placed the bricks on the floor to block wood from reaching too far into the kiln as I "end stoke" through the two outside passive holes.
There's two smaller tall vases behind the tall vases on left and right.
Kind of open at the top, but not as much as the picture seems to show. I shot this picture with my lense at wide angle.
I've been anxiously waiting for the opportunity to use some of the new stamps Levi made on my large platters. I got the chance today to make two platters, using a heron stamp and using a "Celtic tree" stamp. These platters are about 25 inches in diameter.
Levi's "Celtic tree" stamp surrounds a triskelion or triple spiral. I'm thinking I might glaze this platter.
The heron stamp surrounds a triskelion. Outer portion of the inside is my mangrove stamp. Rim is stamped with my driftwood stamp.Maybe a red iron stain will show the details of this platter.
Multi-tasking here.... I've got a customer who wants to purchase one of my tree vases, so I fired several recently and decided to post pictures here and send her a link. These are all made from Highwater cone 6 Brownstone and washed with red iron, fired in my electric kiln.
I use stamps that I've made to create the pattern on the pot when it's a cylinder on the wheel, then shape it afterward.
It's been too long since I last blogged, so I thought I'd share what I've been working on this week, mostly today. Levi made a few new stamps and I tried them on some pots today. I didn't get to all the stamps. This heat just zapped my energy today. I've been working with Highwater's Brownstone for the past couple of weeks. I don't know if they've changed the recipe, but I really like the way it throws.
Here's a few pictures:
Large vase stamped with a "Celtic Tree"
New stamps: Celtic tree and Egret stamps (You've got to click for a larger picture to see anything.)
You can't fit much in a kiln with big fat pots loaded inside.