Sunday, December 27, 2009

burning off those extra calories... with some throwing

It is "warm" today, up to 41 degrees. There was some serious fog early that filled up the whole valley. I could just see the tops of the ridges on the other side and you can just make out the barns and house of my neighbor Tom through the trees.

Then the sun came out. I took the dogs out for some exercise, me throwing the ball, they bring it back and we repeat again, and again and again and... See, they have me trained well. A lot of the snow has melted and we are due for single digit temperatures tonight. Gotta enjoy this when we can. I've got some neat pictures of them, Buddy you have met and the white one is Jake. He's 9 now.

Here is some of the other throwing that I'm doing to burn off those extra holiday calories... Looking forward to a "long-underwear firing" in the near future (as Jack Troy told me he calls it when they fire the Pixiegama in the beginning of February.) I have a lot more shelves to fill before I'm ready for the wood kiln. Better get burning those calories.
I hope everyone had a great holiday and has a Great New Year!!
Our Best to you.
Mary Ann and Bill

Sunday, December 20, 2009

... watchful eyes and warm buns

Buddy likes to keep an eye on me. He is watching me grinding off wads without his safety glasses on. I've told him about the need for eyewear but for some reason he doesn't wear them. Dogs.... He does watch carefully doesn't he? Talk about intense concentration!!

Then it was picture time for my beautiful wife and me. Posed, but nice. We needed a new pics for avitars, web sites, photo albums... and the fire was going and our buns were getting very warm.

Happy Holidays to all!

Friday, December 4, 2009

And the good...

I showed some of the bad that happened with the last firing. Now I want to show some of the good... There is a new style of landscape yunomi, more abstract and suggested than my other ones. A few nice bowls too. I am definately getting a feel for where the zones are for differnt pieces/glazes.

The Aftermath...

There's some good news and some bad news... I'll give you the good news first. I had some of my best pieces yet come out of this firing. :-] The bad news is three pieces blew up and shattered shards all over the place. I had 12 bowls get ruined with "uninvited visitors". I've got a few guess's as to why. The research continues. Update at 11. I did get a beautiful firing asfar as kiln control goes. I looked in the spy hole and saw the color along the floor not as yellow as the rest, so I opened the chimney's shelf dampers more and let 'er rip for an hour and a half. A stronger draft makes the flames path go in a straight line... from the fire box across the floor directly to the flues. A slow draft allows the lazy flame to rise up along the top and across, then down to the flues. And don't forget some medium draft time. This gets all the pottery hot enough. I have been taking the front to cone 12 these last couple of times (the cone on the right in the cone pack picture is 12) and the back to 10.
Then the grinding... need to get those wads off. The turquoise bottle was right up front and the oribe started to run down and onto the wad, showing why we wad them. It soaked up the extra and kept it from sticking the bottle to the shelf.