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Postfire Carnage Part1





Here are the largest pieces, the big tsubo is 20in. tall and weighs about 7 pounds fired.
Well, the glaze crawled right off of the underglaze iron, and in some cases the grey slip, in a dramatic way. The large pieces were difficult to glaze, so ended up with much of the glaze too thick, which is why the crawling is so severe. The bottom right of the smaller tsubo picture shows what the glaze should look like when it’s applied and fired correctly. Very nice to the touch as well.

Kairagi prefire pots






Here are some pics of the pots that will be going into the fire in the next few days. The style is E-Garatsu and Kairagi, and a combination of the two. E-Garatsu is a clear glazed pot with underglaze iron brush decoration. Kairagi is a crawly translucent glaze which resembles the bark of a tree. The kanji for ‘Kairagi’ means literally ‘plum bark’.

These pots have been decorated with a dark slip which is just a type of clay I dig up and add water to. It has a very high melting temp, so it can be used under glazes without too much fear of everything running. At 1200, it just gets crusty and crawls slightly. At 13oo it melts but doesn’t run.

The larger vases are coil and paddle, the tea bowls and plates are wheel thrown and altered. After the grey slip is applied and dry, I go back and add the iron brushwork.

New Shelves and Door




The latest pics are of the new door to the kiln enclosure which seals off the cold air from the workshop. 2×4 frame with plywood skin on one side, left over cedar doors from our house on the other. I put in 4 inches of insulation before tacking the doors on, and though it’s not very visible from the pictures, urethane weather stripping around the door frame. The door is so wide I had to put a caster on the edge to prevent it from sagging. The hinges are huge, meant for welding onto steel doors, I had to drill holes in them to facilitate installation.
Since installing the door, the workshop is noticeably warmer in the mornings, standing water is no longer frozen, so my new pots can breath easy. This door, in tandem with the new ceiling insulation, has made a HUGE difference in temperature.
The shelves I put in so that a bulk of the tool clutter in the shop could be moved to an inconspicuous corner, out of guests line of site. They are about 60cm deep, so they hold a lot of my junk. : )

Built Lofts into the workshop




Well, I started thinking about all of the work I was going to have to do standing on the tops of ladders with my arms up pinning insulation to the wall and ceiling, and I decided to put in the short second floor I’d been thinking about for a while.

On the north end of the building over the wheel area, the loft will be used as a tea room, display area, customer reception, and ‘hide from my wife when she’s angry’ space. The south end loft for storage.

As you can see from the picture I put a 5×5 beam across the span under the big beam, and another 3×5 screwed to the north wall, then laid my cedar planks across the two. The planks weren’t strong enough to stand on without spreading the weight around so while I worked I laid another plank across them to stand on. Since I’m planning to lay down tatami in the tea space anyway, I decided to lay down some 3/8 in plywood, which I screwed down to the planks, and which really stiffened things up. I can walk around now and don’t feel like the thing’s going to collapse on me. However, I wouldn’t trust it to 3 or more people. So, though I wanted to avoid it, I’m trying to figure out what would be rigid enough to span the 4 meter space across the center of the loft without needing a post from the floor or from the roof beam, either of which would get in the way upstairs or down.

The wooden 5×5 wasn’t rigid enough in my opinion (thus the hanging support from the beam, which I have added to the south loft beam as well since taking the pictures), so I’m thinking about a couple of galvanized metal 2x4s (‘c’ cross section) screwed together and oriented vertically to span the width midway between the beam and the wall.

At any rate, the interior feel of the building has really changed with the lofts installed. More ‘cozy’ now than before.