Friday, November 18, 2011

Penland Fall 2011, Last Post.

 Well, it's over now...or it will be after helping with cleanup tomorrow...but let's go back a bit, shall we?

Here are the pots from the last wood firing...

Here's a beauty by Fletcher, one of our Studio Assistants.

Two weekends ago was Suzanne's Birthday party (at my house)'s the birthday girl with Gay Smith's dog Bodhi.

 The pots from the first wood firing were so good that everyone was excited enough to do another firing...

...and once we finished firing (only 15 hours!!!!!! The last one was 28!) we roasted marshmallows in the passive damper (!) and made S''s Roberto, one of our two Brazilian students eating his first s'more.

Things That Make Me Happy #395- Love this bumper sticker seen on a truck in front of the Pines!

...and #396, chicks with chainsaws- Sofie, Marie Claire...and me!

Once we chopped the replacement wood, we unloaded the kiln... are Scott, Day, and Bill from the kitchen, all happy with their new Sarah mugs.

And here we are, back where we started, at the end- here's our last session of porchification, in honor of our classmate Bill (not of the kitchen) who had to leave early...

...And our last dinner together.  (Penland tables are ever expanding- after this picture was taken we added a twelfth person!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Just a Brief Little Note...

Just letting y'all know that I haven't dropped off the face of the planet...This week has been total insanity- last week for wet work...the batch of wood kiln pots came out so fabulously that we decided to do a second firing on only a week's notice  (we loaded this afternoon, and will light up at 6am tomorrow...thank you Kitchen people for the snacks!)  ....Let's just say that there will be one, maybe two, more real posts this next week, and then it's curtains for the blog until early December.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Penland, Week 5

First thing's first- last Thursday we unloaded the shino firing from Juanita, the small gas reduction kiln.  What was done differently with this firing was to reduce early for carbon trapping, to add coal to the firebox at around cone 012 for extra heavy reduction, and to reduce more heavily throughout the entire firing.  I didn't have any pots in this firing (saving them for the wood kiln!), but I definitely have some ideas for the next shino firing!

This was one of the best examples of the Malcolm Davis Carbon Trap Shino glaze (this is the exact same glaze that I've been using back home for all the faux woodfire pieces with the wood ash and soda solution.  The one consistent problem with this glaze in this firing was that it crawled like crazy on the in sides of anything that was more of a closed form than this bowl.  I've seen that happen before on student pots back at Boneyard, but never on my own pots.  The primary theory I've heard is that there's dust on the pots that is preventing the shino from adhering properly- I'm wondering if thickness of application has something to do with it as well, (I never wipe or dust off my bisque!)- my pots are pretty thin and are porcelain, so they don't absorb much glaze at a time, and I keep my shino bucket of a consistency to spray (thin), so if I want a thick coat I double dip- hmmm...if any of y'all have any ideas on the subject, let me know.

These are some of Kent's yunomi in his white shino recipe (the light areas are the result of setting the pots next to others immediately after glazing- the proximity to other wet pots slows the drying of the glaze in that area, changing the way that the salts that cause carbon trapping rise to the surface of the glazed pot)...

...and a student pot (I think one of Wendy , one of the assistants') with another nice example of what surface variation can do for this kind of glaze!

The first wild rush of color is over for this Fall (the tulip trees, many of the maples, and dogwoods and sassafrass), now most of the color is the red of oak trees mixed with the green of the pines, and the brown of the bare branches of the other trees.  Some of the tulip trees are still clinging to a few leaves on the uppermost branches- when a strong breeze comes through and shakes the leaves, it looks as though they are glittering with several shades of gold...quite lovely.

I had to stop and take some pictures when I was coming back up the hill from a town run the other day- it had been raining for much of the day, and having everything wet really made the colors pop.

HALLOWEEN!  They make a big deal about it up here...  These two ghouls are Suzanne and me dressed up as clay-themed kabuki actors...

...and here's Susan Feagin as a dust bunny!

These jellyfish are two of the benefit auction volunteer coordinators, up for their annual October meeting.

...Oh, and a further bear report- sightings at Horner, Cynthia Bringle's, dumpster diving at the Pines, and walking around the new dorm on Halloween night (the school ferried people housed there by car to and from the party).

Lastly for the week- we just finished firing the wood kiln last night!  The firing was just under 30 hours, and pretty even- we spent a lot of time trying to get the bottoms of both chambers in the same range as the top (a  lovely problem to have in a crossdraft!) with pretty good success.

We fired through Sunday night...

...all day Monday...

...and into Monday night.

I was finally convinced to go through the haunted house that was made in the soon-to-be-not-so-dearly-departed Homosote- really well done (we saw a whole new side of Day Dotson and Big John...), though I may have deafened Dean, the glass coordinator, by screaming in his face...

This week- two more weeks of making, only one more field trip (Bandana Pottery and Michael Klein's) and few demos= cranking out lots of pots!!!!