Sunday, August 29, 2010

A week in review

Christy's giving me a break from the stoking, so I can rest up before we finish the first chamber and transition into the second chamber. I thought I would use this time to update everyone on our week.

Before loading we undertook a little kiln work. First I cut out the cob around the spy holes and inserted new spy hole openings/plugs. The spy hole opening/plugs have been sitting around a while. It's nice to finally get them installed.

We've also had some bricks shifting around our first chamber door. Nothing serious, I imagine it's something we could have ignored for many years to come. However, since we would rather not rebuild the first chamber any sooner than we have to, we decided to address the issue before it progressed any more.

All of the lower brick from the main arch are cut to "lock into the first chamber entrance arch.
However, the top of the main arch simply rests on top of the first chamber entrance. This has slowly pushed the entrance forward bit by bit.
First things first. I cut the cob off of the offending juncture then knocked several of the bricks out from the inside.

Set up a makeshift arch form.

Then packed in castable, which I've decided is the equivalent of duct tape the for kiln builders. The stuff is simply irreplaceable.

The castable now sits in a solid block both behind the entrance and on top of it. I believe this should hold everything pretty stable.

Then with only two days left we got the kiln loaded:

More earthenware tests in the third chamber:

A full second chamber with some re fires. Due to the "incident" in the second chamber last firing, most of the pots on the top of the stack were under fired, so they are getting a second chance.
We only ended up with half a chambers worth of pots remaining for the first chamber.
We had initially considered simply firing the first chamber. However we really enjoy the variety of effects we can get from the two different chambers, so we went ahead with stacking pots in both chambers. We would have loved to push back the firing long enough to have a full first chamber, but the need for pots for our upcoming show at the VIVA Gallery took priority. If anybody is in the Viroqua area please feel free to come on out this Thursday to see the new pots hot out of the kiln.
We should be finished firing this evening, and have the pots out Tuesday just in time to get them to the opening. Nothing like the last minute!
Stokers gallery coming soon.


TropiClay Studio said...

Have loved following the firings. The works are great! I hope to convince the school to build a small wood kiln here. I looked for your email address, but couldn't find it on the blog. I want to make a request, so I apologize for putting it here if it's inconvenient.

I have a question for all of the artists that I follow on my blog list – and any others who may read this through other bloggers.
As you know from my blog, I have started the new ceramics program at a local high school. One of the projects that I have assigned the students is a ceramic artist research paper. It is a chance for them to see the works of many different potters, with many different styles and types of clay works – from different parts of the world. They have to download 2 pictures of the artists’ work, and email the artist to ask several questions about their work, what influenced their style, the medium they work in, the glazes they used on a particular piece, etc. They only need to write 250 words, but I’m hoping they will end up with much more. Their final project is to create a piece in the same style and construction technique as the artist they choose for their report (in their own personal interpretation of course).
May I have your permission to steer them to your blog and website to obtain information, and to contact you by email? I would appreciate it immensely, and you would be able to influence this new generation of students in their search for new outlets in the world of art.
Thanks in advance for reading this post, and for your quick replies.
Happy Mudding!


Ron said...

Have a great firing!

deanandmartinpottery said...

Hope ya'll have a great firing and a successful gallery showing. I know all the improvements to the kiln will pay off in the long run. Happy firing!!