Sunday, May 23, 2010

Campfire / Forest Fire Thing ... Part III

The Winners of the giveaways are:  Dawn for the mug and mywifesstudio for the yunomi. Congrats to them and I hope everyone had fun.  Contact me at with your name and address and I'll ship them out to you!  :-]

Now for some close ups...

 It was a nice firing and a great time... they came back to pick theirs up on Saturday Morning. Everyone was real pleased with the results! We will have them back next year, same time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Campfire / Forest Fire Thing, Part II

Back to the wood-fire workshop posting. A view of the rest of the great weekend we had. We finished bricking up the door, using my trimmings that hit the floor for mortar.

A view of the pre-fire kiln ...

Because we glazed the day before and loaded "right after", I candled the morning of the firing starting at 6 am for about 3 1/2 hours to gentlly finish drying the ware.

A little bit of stoking... and stoking... and stoking...

And a view of the finished pieces...

One of the many beautiful pieces...

A happy crew...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bambi...or maybe Bambette...

In this photo there is a log, a few leaves... ok...ok ... lots of leaves, some sticks, a rock and another log... or two.  Can you find them all ?  Oh yeah, and a very small, hidden fawn. Try to find it with out looking in the photos below. It was after dinner, almost dusk so the photos are a little dark.

I was out in my woods looking at my stashes of cherry wood to split up for future firings. And there she was. Kind of cute.

And a view from the other side...

Monday, May 17, 2010

What's Smaller Than a Forest Fire, but Bigger Than a Camp Fire?

A wood fire workshop... and it was a huge success! We had 9 folks out of 15 but that's ok, it was plenty-a-hoppin' as it was. We first went over wood fire friendly glazes and applied them in very "imaginative" combinations... those artist types.  ;-]   Then I showed them how I use a "folded up in quarters, terry cloth towel" for wiping the bottoms in place of waxing. You can see that on the glazing picture from overhead. 

 Then onto wadding. I use 1/3 coarse sawdust, 1/3 cut-up straw and 1/3 Hawthorn 80 fireclay.  I use quick set wood workers glue (like yellow Elmers) and I don't need to worry about them when loading.  There's a post (tick ...tock...) about making wads a few days ago. 

We had an introduction to the kiln and firing overview, then loaded. I explained how you want to think about position/placement, ash... and the flame. Then we talked about cone packs and  zones in the kiln.

I answered general questions for a while. Everyone was so interested in learning all they could about all aspects of the wood fire process.  It was a blast. Dave is not in this last picture, he's holding the camera.

Thanks Dave!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

GIVEAWAYS... Coffee or tea ?

The winners are: Dawn for the mug and mywifesstudio for the yunomi. Contact me at  with your name and address. Congrats! It was fun.

As promised, it's giveaway time again. I promised another piece out of this firing to the followers that leave a comment on this blog. And I enjoyed sharing so much that I also promised a teabowl to my friends at
Sooooo... here we go.
Become a follower of this blog and leave a comment or if you already are just leave the comment. If it's for the coffee mug, tell me what your favorite coffee is and/or when you enjoy it most. If you are a tea drinking enthusiast, leave a comment about your favorite kind of tea that you would enjoy in this yunomi.
In two weeks on the 23 of May around 6 PM EST, I will pull a name out of "each" hat and ship it to the winners, free of charge. :-D
The mug holds 12 oz. and the yunomi holds 5 oz.

Friday, May 7, 2010


This is a good time to check out my wife's blog. She and the people of Beads of Clay are having really, really nice giveaways ... These beauties are in hers. (Just click on the word "blog" or words "Beads of Clay" to go to those sites to see the freebees.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

... Tick...Tock...Tic...Tock...

It's been busy as usual with getting ready for a wood fire workshop I am giving May 15th, 16th, and 22nd. I have 16 people signed up so far and that would be plenty. However, how can you say no to someone that's excited about learning something that I'm excited about myself. I've been making up more glaze in the pails that are low, not to mention all the wood we split earlier (that was done first so it would have time to dry out some and I have real dry splits for finishing from before) Thanks Scot and Dave for their help!
I gathered sawdust and I cut up straw for wadding and then screened out the big pieces. I use 1 part sawdust(coarse), 1 part cut up straw and one part fireclay and then mix well, dry, then take 4 1/2 parts dry mix to approximately 1 part water and make a stiff mix. I then roll out coils of various thickness and cut to length. A quick roll between my palms and "a wad ball".
Then I realized I better weed the beds where our shrubs are, edge them a little and then get some fresh bark mulch to freshen them up. Then I can finish grinding off any wadding or glaze drips that stuck to the brick stilts and shelves. The studio needs a quick mopping and straightening... whew... makes me tired just writing about it ;-]
Oh, and I still need to shovel out the ash from last firing a week ago that is still under the grate. Meanwhile, meeting my younger son for his boxing lesson at my older son's house this afternoon ,(I gave him my heavy bag); and teaching full time. Thank the Lord for an understanding wife that keeps very busy keeping up with her quickly growing ceramic bead business. You can check out her beautiful work at My students will be here soon, need to finish getting prepared for them. Nice to take a couple of minute break during my prep time to type this... when else would I find the time?! ;-]