28 March 2009

A Very Good Day

What better way to start a day than Kathy Harrigan's mighty fine baked goods?! I am leading a two-day workshop at LibertyTown and it is nice to bring 'home' some of the ideas that I talk about when I'm teaching elsewhere.

I threw a bunch of simple pots this morning with the idea of putting handles on tomorrow. The afternoon was for the students to throw and I tried to give some guidance. It's a really nice group.

Afterwards I sped out to the kilnsite to unload .
I was pretty sure that this firing was much improved from the last. It felt good while we were firing and the peeks I could get from pulling rings and sticking a flashlight in the spy holes gave me great relief. I'm happy to report that it is the best I've had by a long shot. Good temperature, reduction and salt with very rich results and few seconds. I even got some flat flatware!

I'm sure I'm giving Lou and Jerry some kind of lecture, here. I can't help myself...
I didn't give a lot of respect to the wood chamber this time. It's one of the reasons that I put the two giant coil built pots in. So, of course, whether it was the openness that that created, or the baffling I did in the space beneath the shelving or the change in dampering, the bloody chamber was beautiful...toasty and lustery where it should be. We certainly made more black smoke this time and the flame from the blow holes really had some vigor.
I really liked using a new to me clay that has a bit of color and iron specking and flashed nicely in the wood. A french kaolin that I'm using as a slip in the salt is an amazing orange color. I'd like it to be a little more satin and a little less shiny, but that is a very minor detail. Next to the french slip the 6 tile looks a little bit brown, but I think I just need to apply it more thickly.
There are too many good things to mention! Isn't that sweet? A bunch of cool bottles...the largest teapot in Caroline County...a nice batch of mugs. I won't get to take a real close look until Monday. Pottery is a great teacher of patience.


Alex Solla said...

That looks like a fantastic firing! Tell me more about this French kaolin. What is it, how'd you find it, and what turned you on to it?

Great pots. You have some nice racers in there!

Chris C. said...

Your pieces turned out absolutely beautiful! Please post more more pics if you get a chance. Really like the greenish glaze on the shelves above the ginormous teapot!

Anonymous said...

dreamy kiln load, look forward to individual shots

Joe and Christy said...

Congrats on a successful firing!

Elizabeth Seaver said...

Yay! Gorgeous first look--can't wait to get closer! Congratulations.

Incognito said...

Sorry I missed the workshop; we've been out looking at sailboats!

The firing does look good, even to my novice eye. Looking forward to seeing some of these pieces in person. Flatware? Sounds interesting.

Hollis Engley said...

Looks mighty fine, Daniel. Congratulations. And that French orange slip looks luscious.

Dan Finnegan said...

The French kaolin is purchased from Trinity ceramics in Texas. I had to buy a 110 pound barrel...good thing I like it! It fits Loafer's Glory all by itself. I'm still trying to make it fit other clays.
I'm still pleased with the pots on day #2, even though I started looking a little harder today.