Monday, November 16, 2009

Winding Down

As the Toe River Arts Council's Fall Studio Tour draws near, December 4-6, the work starts to slow down. I thought I was finished after 3 firings over the past few weeks. However, with 5 or 6 shelves of pieces (including the third of the large baskets) that did not fit into a glaze load, I feel compelled to keep making new pots.

I'm also making cups for the wine and cider I serve at the Tour. I cannot stand the idea of throw-away cups. As you know, I am not a disciplined thrower, so the cups present a little challenge for me. I often throw them too thin, too small and no two alike. It's ridiculous to throw them on bats, but I screw them up if I try to move them wet.
I do love to trim pots, so even though cups should not need trimming, I do it anyway. It also gives me the opportunity to use my Giffen Grip which I bought in college. At least all the feet end up looking alike. Once glazed, the cups are pretty sweet.

So wet work will grind to a halt this week as we prepare for our annual Thanksgiving trip to Nags Head. When I return, I'll bisque fire the last of the pieces and fire a cone 6 load mid-week before the Tour. More photos and updating my Etsy site will follow.

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Pots and Gallery Makeover

As predicted, last week was indeed a busy one. I fired a cone 6/7 load on Monday and a cone 10 on Wednesday. My last cone 10 load took over 14 hours to fire, so I woke up at 2 am to start firing. As luck would have it, I was so tired that I neglected to cut back the air at the start of body reduction (although I am uncertain why I was doing that). The result was a slow down in rise, but not the usual drop that takes an additional 2 hours to make up. That should have been my first clue, eh?

I looked back over my notes as well as John Britt's and Val Cushing's firing schedules and realized that what I thought was a mistake was probably the correct course of action. In the end, the firing took only 9 1/2 hours with good reduction. I guess that means I can cut 2 hours off my cone 6 firings also.

Once again I was very impressed with the cone 6/7 glazes in reduction. Chris Wolff's Plum (above) came out very nice (although my photo makes it look more red than it truly is) and a couple more of my cone 10 glazes are nearly identical at cone 6/7. Considering I ended up with at least 5-6 shelves of Zella Stone (cone 7-10) work that did not fit, I have the option of firing at either temperture. I thought I was done firing for the year, but as long as I am halfway there, I may as well fill 'er up and squeeze one more firing in!

While I was firing, Brenda helped me paint the gallery. Before it was a sort of Colonial blue and the faux ceiling beams were painted as white as the ceiling. We painted the walls a muted yellow and white washed them. Then we painted the beams brown and added some darker stain on top. The result is a room that appears much larger and taller.
I feel good about so many pots coming out well. In the photo they are just piled all over the tables. I have quite an inventory and am considering approaching some galleries about carrying my work. I've never done this before, and I'll admit to being a little nervous. Hopefully I'll have some good news to report soon.