Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Welcome Back!  It's been a long while since I last posted here.  In the interim, I've moved to Somerville, Mass and joined Mudflat Studio.  It's a fantastic place.  


Here is my display for the sale.  These shelves are upstairs next to the high fire glazing area:


There are buttons, bowls, mugs, cups, a teapot, a brownie dish and a vase for sale.

Another view of the pots:





You can glimpse the beautiful pots of my neighbor.  She works in lovely blues and greens:



Here is a picture of Laura, a classmate, putting her shelves together.  Her pieces are larger, more free form in gorgeous earthy browns.  I wish I had taken a closer picture for you:


And here is my cubby at the studio with clay supplies and pieces that didn't fit on the shelf:

I hope to see you there, if you are in the area!  Otherwise, look for new ware coming to the Etsy site soon!




Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wood Fire Kiln Unloading

Please be patient with me, this post is rather long.  But there are lots of pictures!

We arrived this morning to a cooled kiln and got right to work scraping the mud and newspaper off of the bricks that sealed the kiln.  Suzanne and John are using wire brushes to scrape those bricks clean.  Judith is offering her support and waiting for a turn.


Next, we removed the clean bricks from the front of the kiln chambers.  Remember there were three chambers:  one for wood ash, the middle for salt and soda fired, and the third is a bonus that helps maintain heat and circulation of the air/gasses.  Below you can see Jeanie opening the wood chamber.  

And here is Judith at the bonus chamber with her fabulous sculpture.  She got excellent coloring and texture on them.

This is a first glimpse of the salt/soda chamber.



Peeking in deep to get a pot's eye view...  compare to the previous post.  There is the square pot on the bagwall at the back...  Don't you love those turtles!



There was a fire brigade of unloading.  and then some inspecting and sighing, oooh-ing and ahhhh-ing ensued.  Here is Paul with one of his beauties.

Suzanne unloading and popping the wads off the pot bottoms.  The wads prevent pots from glazing to the kiln shelves and to lids.  They are made of material that does not adhere to the ash, soda and salt in the atmosphere of the hot kiln.  They also do not melt in the high heat.  Gotta love material science!

Here is John with his spectacular haul of tea bowls.  In the background are Suzanne, Judith, and Paul.  


And, of course, there's clean up!  This is Al working hard scraping the crud left on the kiln shelves.  

And Anitha scraping the wadding off of the stilts that hold the shelves up.  Each one had wadding on both top and bottom.  

It was a great experience.  The pots were all so different and beautiful.  The folks were sunny and enthusiastic.  I can't wait to do it again!

And finally, I will throw some more pictures of pots up here for those of you who haven't clicked away already...








Thanks for looking!

Please look for some of my lovelies for sale soon at:  
http://www.etsy.com/shop/hammerpots?ref=pr_shop_more

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stoking the Fire at Baltimore Clayworks Wood Kiln


Steve and Jeannie waiting to stoke.  You can see that the kilns got sealed up with bricks and a mixture of mud and newspaper across the front.  There are two stoke holes--one on the wood side in front of Jeannie (with a glove on the handle) and one just at her shoulder for the salt side.  The bucket of fire in the front of  the photo was to keep stokers warm.


The boards on the trash can are covered with wood bark.  The material adds chemicals that make good colors on the pots...  The extent of my knowledge as yet!  I'm sure there is a better explanation for that which I will learn in time...  At this point, late in the stoking, maybe 10 or 12 hours in, they were stoking with board and bark sandwiches.  Those boards to the right would be placed on top of the bark--3 or 4 boards stacked and smoothly slid into the stoke hole.  The boards would fall neatly behind the bagwall.

Suzanne waiting to stoke.  The bright flame coming out the top of the kiln was the indicator of when to stoke next.  That flame starts to die down and it's time for more fuel.

Glowing third chamber... 
This is the view from the far side of the third chamber.  That's the teapot and the salt side beyond it.

This is getting near the top temperatures.  The flames blew dramatically out the chimney.  We were stoking both sides of the kiln now.


Here we are at pretty near the end of the stoking for max temp.  It was really hard to get a picture in focus.  Thank you to Jim for his steady hand!

Dawn.  After the salt chamber got it's super stokes, salt and soda, there was a ritual final stoke.  Then we sealed the biggest gaping holes with newspaper soaked in mud and left her there to cool. 


It was an amazing experience to be so close to fuel and fire, to watch the glow and hear the roar in the flue, to hang out with some amazingly creative, competent, knowledgeable crafts folk.
Thank you, all!  See you Wednesday for the opening...

Baltimore Clayworks Community Wood Fire






It was a super cold, but sunny and beautiful day in Baltimore.

 Here are a bunch of the pots, wadded and glazed, ready to go into the kiln

Jeremy sitting on the bagwall considering where to place pots on the salt-fired side of the kiln.  That would be to the starboard side...  or is it port?  Steve?

Salt side filling up.  That square thing on the left is a canister sitting on the bagwall.  To the left of the bagwall is where the wood is tossed into the kiln.  So the canister will get a huge blow fire, salt and soda sitting up there.

Here is the wood side of the kiln getting loaded.

And here is the woodside full.  Thanks, Jim!

All the way to the right is a small third chamber.  It creates space for gasses and heat to circulate before being sucked up the flue.  That space is great for helping the salt chamber get to and maintain temperature.  Because it heats up slowly, but still gets good heat and some salt, it was the place to put these greenware teapots.  They, unlike all of the other work in the kiln will be fired only the one time.

Next up:  pictures of the fire!


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Wee Little Pottery Studio


My little corner

 Wedging Table of sorts


 Tools


Pots for the January Woodfire