Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Whirrrrr-Zzzzzzzip Plunk! Plunk!

I've got three pallets of pallet parts I'm cutting to size for the wood-fired kiln this week in between decorating some large soul pots and loading and firing an electric kiln which has two sinks I've made for a hotel in Geneva Switzerland along with some soul pots and some teapots and little mugs to go with them, and a large tree platter.

Whirrrrrr-zzzzip. Plunk! Plunk! (Two thick boards cut in two with my DeWalt chop saw and tossed into the wheel barrow.) Whirrrrr-zzzzzzip. Plunk! Plunk! (Two more....)

The sinks are glazed with two different glazes layered together that the client picked from several tests. The tests were dipped in glaze; the sinks are sprayed with glaze, two different methods of applying glaze that result in slightly different effects, so I'm hoping the client likes the sprayed sinks.

Returning an empty wheel barrow to my cutting area after stacking the boards near the kiln, I noticed a beautiful butterfly on the saw. I took a break and photographed him as he flitted about, landing here and there, pumping his wings, "tasting" the sawdust with his curly little antenna thing.

Then I got back to work:

Whirrrrrrrr-zzzzzzzzip. Plunk! Plunk!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quickest Firing yet looks Good

Chelsea, Levi and I fired a load of pots in the wood-fired kiln Tuesday, most of the pots being made by Chelsea and Levi while Mary and I were away in Ireland. It was the quickest we've ever fired the Manabigama, nine hours.

We stoked heavy until we reached cone 11 in the front then slowed the stoking to let the kiln raise and lower between 2,000 F. and 2,300 F for a few hours. Then Levi took over at the end and stoked heavily, putting the kiln into reduction for an hour or so. We had cone 14 flat in the front and cone 10 tipping in the back when we shut the kiln up.

A peek into the kiln this morning shows we've got some nice color on the front pots. Many of the pieces are glazed in shino, which looks to have turned quite dark up front.

We'll be unloading in the morning.

Chimney flame near end of firing

Front shelves next to firebox

Right to left: Chelsea, Mariel Feigen, and Levi

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Soul Pot with Curvy Limbs

I'm trying to connect my blog to my twitter account using Twitterfeed, so I'll do a quick post and see if it's working. Here's a soul pot I decorated yesterday:
The top with its signature rim

Adding some limbs

And then some leaves. It's ready for the kiln.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Back to Work in North Carolina

Finished shed in Ireland
Well, I've been back to work for a couple of weeks now since we got back from our trip to Ireland. We succeeded in erecting my 23 1/2-foot by 10-foot metal shed, insulating it, laying a concrete floor and pad outside, and installing a small wood stove. And I also bought 650 heavy duty fire brick. So, next year, we'll be building a kiln if all goes as planned. I love the trees in Ireland. Don't get me wrong. We have some beautiful trees here in the U.S., but for some reason, the trees of Ireland strike a chord in me that inspires. I made several pieces since I've been back to work here, and one in particular was inspired by a tree I saw in Ireland (I can't remember where I took the picture). I'll share some photos:
A lovely Irish tree
Here it is on a pot.
This Lime tree in Ireland was just a mass of brances at its base.

Lime trees, also called Linden or Basswood