First off is our not- quite- new masonry stove:I had been curious about masonry stoves for quite some time, and when we needed a heat source for the studio I took it as an excuse to try and design/build one. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but there is a fairly lengthy flue system inside. Building and using the stove this winter has been a great learning experience. It's far from perfect and we will be rebuilding it this fall. It's eliminated the need for the electric heater in our studio, which was quite costly to run through out the winter.
We even pulled the pyrometer from our kiln to monitor the stove.... How much fun is that!
Next up on the list of topics that are long overdue is this chatter tool that my good friend Aaron Weaver made for me.
I've often admired the Onda pots with their lovely chattered decorations. It turns out there is a little bit of learning curving with the chatter tool. Not too terribly much, but you certainly need to be aware of how wet your slip is and the exact angle that you hold the tool. I'm having fun learning though, and you can expect to see more chattering in the future at Windy Ridge Pottery!
the slip was still a little wet on this one
I've also done quite a bit of glaze testing over the last couple of firings. We've slowly been amassing interesting local glaze materials as Christy mentioned in her last post. We've done a ton of different tests, so there are lots of possible glazes in our future. For this firing though I'm focusing on two.
First a celadon blue:
For the glaze geeks out there: no we have not been able to find a local clay in a low enough titanium content to make a celadon blue. We've heard there is some kaolin in Northern Wisconsin, but we haven't tracked that down yet. So for now it's Grolleg with limestone, sandstone, and wood ash.
I'm also working on a nice white glaze. I'm hoping to find something that will contrast nicely with our high iron glaze.
It still needs a little work, but it's getting close and we have several variations on this glaze in our coming firing... hopefully we'll have something solid by next firing.
That's it for now, the firing is coming up quick. Back to potting...