The changes: Seasons, materials, firing schedule, glaze thickness. Few things stay just the same in a pottery studio. And the changes don't ever seem to happen one thing at a time. Neither do they happen when it's convenient.
Now that Custer Feldspar is no longer what it had been for so many years, and the substitutions appear to be fleeting, trying to get the same results from different materials is a challenge. But I'm getting close. I'm finally getting my green glaze close to what it had been. In fact, the new appearance is really nice in its own way.
This kiln load was hard-fought, though. I've made some adjustments to the kiln to alleviate a long-annoying hot-spot. As I failed to take that into consideration, the effect of cone 10 going down didn't really mean the same thing as it did with that annoying hot-spot warming the blind side of my kiln (I have peep holes in one side only).
Because I failed to consider that cooler cone 10, when I opened the kiln on Monday, all the green was gunmetal gray. I pulled out the old cones, set a couple of new sets on the still hot floor of the kiln (that way if they were going to blow, they'd do so right away and I could clean them out and start over). Once I was sure the cones were going to survive, I shut the door and simply refired the whole darn load.
It came out perfect. Best green glaze in over a year.
I hope I learned enough from that firing to skip that extra step double firing.
It's not ALL work around here. This past weekend, Dar and Breeze teamed up to finish their PAX (preferred agility excellent) title at an agility event in Merrillville, IN. The PAX is earned by qualifying in both events -- standard agility and jumpers with weaves -- at the same event ... 20 times! Our pottery schedule doesn't permit Dar and Breeze to get out as often as they'd like (or as often as most agility teams get to in order to score THIS many double-Qs). That means that Breeze's success rate is pretty darn good. I'm mighty proud of them. They've sure put in the hours of training.
I didn't have enough room AND it was
too windy to display my bowls standing up in stands (as is my habit)
last weekend in Fort Worth. Because of that, I found myself displaying
the bowls flat (imagine that? Displaying them just as they might be
used in the home?)....and I was putting them one inside the other.
I liked the way it looked -- especially when the bowls didn't match.
So, on the long drive home I kept envisioning making sizes of bowls that
would fit one inside the other....that would sort of "mix'n'match"
I just got back from the Fort Worth
"Main Street Art Festival" where I was greeted on Saturday by a nice
couple who said, "We bought several pieces from you the last time you
were here and we've been looking for you each year since."
It's flattering and rewarding to be remembered, and to have my pots grace the homes and lives of so many people.
This year after the festival the couple sent along some images of my pottery in their house.
The first is a close-up. The second shows that they live with cats. That's okay too. I can always make more pottery !