Thursday, 1 September 2011

Playing away

The inactivity recently on the blog is because I've been away playing with big boy's kilns. Last week I went to Devon, helped pack and fire Nic Collins Anagama kiln and Sabine's soda and wood Olsen kiln.

Mark packs the anagama
The finished job
Full on and tiring, we also built an experimental kiln with mixed results. So the last couple of weeks or so has been making, bisque firing and trying different clays. My usual stuff would come out dark and uninteresting over a four day firing. There was a mild panic when we realised there was probably not enough pots to fill the two kilns, so it was set to and make stuff. It's ok for these guys that throw, just knock off a few tea bowls, but us coilers take things a little more slowly. I made a large dish using an original Cardew hump mould and a few small bowls. In the event there was enough work and the hurriedly made pieces still sit in the workshop.
The experimental kiln in full flight

We opened the Olsen last Saturday, the results were good and I am advised it was a good firing. I am not a convert to Soda firing, some of the pots were a bit bling and shiny for my tastes. It was fun and spraying in the Bicarbonate of Soda at high temperature is something else.
The Olsen ready to close up and fire

The wait of over a week for the Anagama to cool is painful, the thought of my pots lying in the remains of the embers, slowly cooling and as yet unseen 250 miles away is strange. Can't even grab a sneaky look through the side stoke hole and I can't wait to see what comes out. We plan to drive down on Saturday at some ridiculous hour in the morning to get there for the 10.30 grand opening.

Fingers crossed.

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