Thursday, April 28, 2011

Gettin Educated

Does an art degree prepare students for real life after graduation? Should it?

Is education now job training? Should employers and the market dictate the curriculum?

Ponder on that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Firing X Pots.

I unloaded firing X last night and it was...okay. Most of the pots for orders came out just fine. Most of the pots were okay...but just okay. The Tile 6 slip has just not been acting right. About a year and a half ago I received a new batch, new bags, new company, not the same stuff...similar, but not the same. The color I used to get is just not there anymore. I'm going to run some tests, we'll see. I did lose several pieces to cracking...I just can't seem to figure that one out yet. They're not heating cracks, and it's not cooling cracks...some type of stress cracks? Maybe. There were some small patches of oxidation where the pots looked like vanilla ice cream, some reduction where the pots looked hershey bar brown. Fortunately those disasters were a very small portion of the firing. As always though I did get some stellar pieces that I'm really excited about.

Platter with handles...about 16", white slip.

Teapot, white slip.

Cap jar, white slip with amber and black underglaze deco. This was in one of the reduced zones but that works for this slip.

Lidded jar, tile 6 slip with pours and deco.

I'd like to promise that I'll post more later but...last 2 weeks of the semester, crunch time.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Firing X.

I fired off the wood kiln yesterday, it was a bit of a fiasco. Not the firing itself but the events surrounding the firing.

Back stack of the chamber.

Front stack.



Michael Kline assisted me with some carb and sodium intake during the firing.

It started raining about halfway through the firing, no big deal I can deal with a little rain. Then it started pouring...then it started hailing...then it started really hailing. This guy landed right outside the door but was by no means the biggest that I saw.

The yard after a couple minutes. This continued off and on for 3 hours. The barn where the kiln is located is clad in nothing but corrugated steel. It's hard to adequately describe the sound of giant hail hitting a corrugated roof. I think the closest description is 30 kids banging pots and pans together right next to your head for about 3 hours. It just about drove me mad, a pretty miserable experience.

I don't really like to fire in the rain or during overcast days because the smoke and salt fog don't dissipate...but I have never seen it do anything like this. The fog was so dense here you can't even see the showroom. It travelled to the street and cars had to slow down to drive through it. After the firing was over there was still a haze in the park across the street. The fire dept showed up but immediately turned around when they saw that it was just me firing. Because of the lingering smoke and fog we had a multitude of people pull into our driveway and want to help "put the fire out." The fire dept also received a number of calls...I expect a visit from the fire marshal again soon. Dealing with the weather, the smoke, and the good samaritans didn't allow me the necessary focus on the firing. It got to temp just fine so lets hope that all is well. Only a 30% chance of rain the last 4 days... and it picked the small window of time during my firing.

Well, unloading tomorrow and I'll let you know how it goes.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011


A short little video showing where my firewood comes from. I made the biggest haul that I've ever made from this single house. Usually 2 truckloads at the most.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

12 x 12

32 pots in 2 hours! (I'm not a production potter...I'm not a production potter...I'm not a production potter...I'm not a production potter...) 1# bowls and some mugs that will all be ash glazed. I need some pots to go near the front in the next firing, I'm not too fond of the way my slips look near the firebox.

Pots waiting to be bisqued.

New style of cap jar. I really liked Ron's video post awhile back about decorating these style of lidded pieces. I decided rather than doing two seperate decos on the base and lid that I'd just carry over the deco right onto the lid. This also means that the lid has to be in just the right place every time you put it back on the piece. Ha!

4# vases.

This jar has a white slip on the top half that I textured so that some of the bare clay shows through. Those little dots that are a brown/gray color are Michael Simon's black decorating pigment. I like it on this white slip because the edges go fuzzy, it doesn't keep a crisp edge. Good stuff.

Platter with same deco as above.

Dinner plate with slip trailing. I'm a total newbie to slip trailing. The background is an ochre slip that goes a nice rich brown and the trailing is white. Those green dots may have not been the best choice but we'll see how it fires out.

I'm about ready to fire, I need to make a couple teapots and a few other things but hopefully I'll be loading in about a week and a half.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Michael Simon Talk

The Michael Simon and Classmates talk hosted by the Northern Clay Center and University of Minnesota on March 13 is online here. It's close to 2 hours. Cheers!


I've uploaded a bunch of new pots to my etsy page.

Here is a personal favorite.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

New Pots!

Most of these pots are from the most recent firing in mid-February, the others are from the previous firing in January. I will be posting these and many others to my etsy page on Monday, they'll be up at 9am.

Jug...about 1/2 gallon.

Small lidded jar.


Large serving bowl.

Small dish/bowl

Slab molded dish.

Dessert plate

Dessert plate

Mug, nice flashing on this guy.

I'm putting up about 6 yunomi on etsy.


Friday, April 1, 2011