Saturday, July 4, 2009

Starworks Ceramics, and the kiln gets a make over

Well last day to make pots, and I figured I would give it a go with some clay that Takuro had so generously given to me to try out.

For those of you not in North Carolina, Star works Ceramics started up I believe about four years ago near Seagrove, with the intent of processing and selling local clay to pottters (as well as selling your run of the mill processed material). I worked there for several years, and helped Takuro test some of the clay, and build a wood kiln for workshops, as well as clay testing. Unfortunatly I moved to Wisconsin before Starworks was proccessing clay on a large scale. They are now up and running with all of there equipment and I'm happy to say making some great clay.

This was the first time I had a chance to give the clay a try, it threw well and I'm excited to see how it looks after the firing. I would certainly recomend anybody in North Carolina going and giving this clay a try. Or just stopping by to get your regular materials, Takuro is wicked smart when it comes to ceramic materials. Local clay with out all the digging, milling, and sieving... how cool is that? Takuro, and his wife Hitomi are also building a wood kiln at there house, check it out here.

We spent the last day before loading, recoating the kiln. After a little bit of experiementing we ended up with 3 parts local red clay, 1 part fireclay and 4 parts sand. We mixed enough of this for the whole kiln in a large tub. After a through mixing we bucketed it out into a wheelbarrow and added straw and cement. Unfortunatly this picture was taken later in the day and only has two thirds of the team: Sheridan who is staying with us for a little while to help with all the work ahead, and myself. Our friend Eric was a great help as well, but we were all too dirty and focused on the kiln to remember to take pictures while he was still around.

Hopefully with the new coat, and new door our kiln will be that much tighter and more effecient. We'll let you know in a couple of days.


Lara O'Keefe said...

looks beautiful guys! Here I have been putting off this job myself and then you guys just do it like it's no big deal, very inspiring!

STARworksCeramics/Takuro said...

Hello, Joe. Thank you for trying out our clay! I hope you will have good result with it. I wish you and Cristy were still in North Carolina and work with us. You are the first staff person for us at STARworks Ceramics, and we did not have equipment to process and test clay, so we process by hand and tested them. And our wood kiln is working fine, and the kiln shed that you designed is working good too! Thank you for all your help here at STARworks Ceramics, I wish you were here when our first clay come out from our pugmill, and could cerebrate it with us. Many of our customers are wondering about you, so I always give them this blog address to them, so they could see your new life in Wisconsin. Anyway we miss you guys so much!

Your new kiln coat looks great! I wish I could help you.

jimgottuso said...

looks like some fine clay, wonder how it will fire. that is one handsome kiln, it looks beautiful with the red clay