Saturday, July 9, 2011

Busy as a bee... err... ahh... as a snake??

It's that time of year again where it gets really, really busy! I have been in a couple of small, local art shows. One was the Westcott Art Trail on June 4th and 5th, where there's a few artists at each spot in the Westcott neighborhood, 60+ artists total. I downsized, and took half of my display. I have a symmetrical shelf display that I modify slightly for small shows. I still have a nice assortment and it's easier to set up and take down.

I did have this lady on a bike with those cool, modern bike helmets on, stop by to chat for awhile. I was showing her the different clay bodies I use for different parts of the kiln and was mentioning the Tully mud slide of 1993 that was a disaster for some, but it provided some raw material to experiment with for me. It matures around ^ 1 or so, it is very saline and red earthenware looking. (I posted about it last year.) Then she told me who she is, and I recognized her under her helmet once she mentioned her name, Maureen Green. She was a news reporter for one of the local Syracuse channels for years. Now she writes for and since our first visit, has gotten the okay to do an article on me in the beginning of August, in time for the 31st Annual Pottery Fair in Cazenovia, N.Y.  August 20 & 21 at the Stone Quarry Hill Art Park. It will revolve around a positive twist to the disaster back in '93.
Then the graduation of my youngest, Jayson, from high school, shown here with Mary Ann and me.

Another art show was June 22nd, at the Munson Proctor Museum in Utica, N.Y. Beautiful weather all day.

Then there's wood to split and stack and get ready for the firings coming up. I've got the kiln modified a little and some wood dry and ready... I think I need a roof extention...

I modified the floor with a little step up to hopefully do two things: 1) compress the heat/flame a tiny bit and 2) trip up the air flow a little to heat up the back more. I am getting ^ 12 plus in the front and a solid ^ 10 in the lower back. There is a cool spot, (^ 9) in the upper back that this might turn it into a 9 1/2 pushing 10. I have no trouble getting the air/flame flow I need and I think this might slow the flame down and trip it up a little, giving a little longer soak before it exits the flues with out loosing combustion. I have shelf dampers in the chimney that work great and I can slow the flame down plenty, but it also slows down my combustion a bit too much. I figured this would be a mild tweek and wouldn't hurt to try.
I also have cut some bricks to stagger the height of the shelves back there and impeed the flame just the right amount. I'll have 4 1/2" in front, 9" in the middle and 6 1/2" in front of the flues. I know how that arraingment works and it should do the trick here.

Now, the next part is not for the squeemish... remember all that wood I split and stacked and that nice kiln I built...? Well, I am not the only one liking it. I have visitors...

Do you think they will help with the stoking?  .. at least?