Monday, March 12, 2012

Earthenware Experiments

Hi from Windy Ridge!

We are inching closer to our first firing of 2012, which is scheduled for late April, just in time to have fresh work for Clay in May. Joe will fill the first two chambers with stoneware, and I am going to use the third chamber for a load of earthenware. We are looking forward to some new surfaces coming out of this firing!

stoking wood in the lil' test kiln

I deemed my all-local earthenware blend waaaay to unpredictable for an entire load of pots, so I ordered dry, minimally-processed brick clay from Nebraska that I learned about during a workshop a few years ago with Joe Pintz at Arrowmont for our spring firing. The clay doesn't have the richness and intense color that I love in our Darlington clay, but it is predictable and fully functional! I have a number of "house blends" of local red clay to try in the wood kiln.

I have also been working on glaze and terra sigilata "house blends," and have come up with some really interesting, rich, and unique textured surfaces that I will show you in a later post. It is fun to learn low-fire glaze theory through my experiments, and to push the envelope for using raw, hand-processed local materials. Unfortunately, I am not confident that most are watertight. Fortunately, I am having fun making decorative work. Here are a few pieces I have made recently:
Bird Votive Candle Holder decorated with Ivey Red and What Cheer Sig

Flower Wall Box Set decorated with various sig blends

Heart Box glazed with some crazy "House Blend"

Ms. Damaso of Driftless Appetite fame has requested a cake stand.
Here is the prototype in "cupcake" size!

Joe has spent quite a bit of time this winter working on re-modeling and "embiggening" our small house by removing lots of walls! Although we are in need of a large beam to finish things up next winter, we love our wide open kitchen and living space:

Joe did an amazing job on the kitchen island, too!



Leslie said...

Sweet! I'm so excited to see my cakestand and your other pieces :)

Jessie said...

Very exciting stuff happening up on your windy ridge! I like the looks of what I see!

angela walford said...

great to see the pursuing of EW tests and i hope you get a good result from this firing!! and wow super kitchen job Joe!!

cookingwithgas said...

you two are living the life! Yeah! Go,go,go!

Paula said...

Wow - Joe's been busy. The kitchen looks amazing. Quite talented in SOOOO many ways, you two!

Any advances on the bread bakers, Joe?

Hope to see you this summer!

smartcat said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of earthenware.

Ron said...

I can't wait to see some woodfired earthenware! Kitchen looks great.