Friday, April 2, 2010
On your mark, get set, almost ready to go...
I'm back... I've been really busy with getting a lot ready for April and May's events. April includes my first firing of the year. I have hundreds and hundreds of pieces ready to go into the kiln. The weather has been really nice, today was 87! I have been cutting a lot of firewood and splitting it and you can see the stacks in the picture above. I cut, split and load the trailer right in the woods. Leaving all the "mess" right there to return to the Earth.
I do bring small amounts of logs to the "landing" we call it, instead of moving everything to the logs. If I have a big pile, then of course I'll move to it.
I'll put it in the loader on the tractor and park it right next to the splitter, split and throw it right back in. Then drive the splits back to the kiln area or where ever I'm piling it. I like to have two firings worth split ahead of time, so it will be dry by the time I get to it.
I had to stop and replace the "spider" it's called. It's a hard rubber piece that goes between the engine shaft and the hydrolics-box shaft. By the time I went to the store, put it in and got back in business, I had lost a few hours. (Hard to keep your momentum going with all that going on!). You can see the splitter tipped up on end to get at it.
I thought this would be good to show how much work goes into wood-firing, on top of the making of the pieces themselves. Don't get me wrong, I do like playing in my woods and exercising in the fresh air and all.
May includes giving a wood-fire workshop here at the house, mostly to the guild members of the Syracuse Ceramic Guild that I belong to. There are some friends from Ithaca, New York that wanted to come too. I'll have everyone bring their own bisqued cone 10 clay and we will cover ash friendly glazing, wadding, loading and bricking up the door on Saturday. Then I'll get up early Sunday morning and candle the kiln for a few hours until they come around 10. Then I will guide the firing of the kiln, explaining about ember management, the stoking cycle - the different atmospheres, wood types and their effects, temperature management... all that stuff. I'm the only wood-firing potter in my guild so it will be cool for them. I'll have them come back the following Saturday to pick up their pieces. I have a wedding to go to in the afternoon. My step-son Ben and his girl friend Tiffany are tying the knot.
I'll have lots of blog postings soon with my April firing and May workshop with details and in color.
Not High-Def, 3-D though... sorry. I'm old school.