Fall Open Studio

Just a short post of some pictures from the studio sale this weekend.

Chosen Karatsu Slabs

I had to make a batch of slab plates after the fall wood kiln firing, because every one of my slabs cracked in that firing. Turns out the clay I used was high in silica, and didn’t agree with the long wood kiln firing. The silica turned into cristabolite, and all pots made with that clay experienced shivering, or cracking, no matter what glaze they were paired with, and across a range of temperatures.

Forward a few weeks, and I’m frantically trying to get some replacement plates fired because this weekend is the fall open studio event, followed by an exhibition in Nagasaki during the first week of Dec.

For the most part this firing went well, aside from the fact that I exploded my large platter. Drat.

The last few pieces…

The last of the teabowls and some larger pieces that will go in the front to get hammered by the fire.  I’ll be putting more work around the firebox this time, probably half the volume of work in this firing will be in the front stack and around the firebox.  This in response to an epiphany I had after the last firing when I realized how much space was going to waste around the front, and how a change in stacking configuration would allow for easier handling of certain pieces during the firing. 

This time around I’m planning to shovel embers from under the grate and toss them back into the kiln on and around the work in the front area. I also made a primary air cover that should enable us to stand at the stoke for longer periods of time without fear of being bathed in flames. 

Anyway, here’s the work:


teabowls, about 300 grams each.
low iron body with weathered feldspar inclusions.
i waited a bit too long to trim, but managed not to break any


large serving bowl, or maybe a flower vessel?
underside of a similar piece
a smaller finished piece

Guinomi for fall

I’m in the middle of loading the kiln for the fall firing, and suddenly realized I’ve forgotten to make any firebox suitable guinomi or chawan, so spent yesterday evening and this morning doing a batch of guinomi made from what I hope is a sufficiently refractory body for the most violent parts of the kiln. Teabowls this afternoon… 

some paddled guinomi, ’cause they were naughty
simple ones…
funky, weird ones
middle setting finished

Coil and paddle

I have been working on coil and paddle pots these last few days. This is a sequence of photos from a jar I made today. It’s not very big, probably about 36 cm across.


Unwelcome Visitor

finally evicted!!!!

 I first noticed damage to things in the studio a couple months back. Gnawed on wood things, bags shredded, paper shredded, cloth chewed upon, things knocked off of shelves (including two of my Bison tools, which snapped like dry twigs. 

Suffice to say I have not been happy with this visitor, but tried live traps unsuccessfully before resorting to poison. 
Three days ago one of my poison packs was eaten, but no body or smell followed. This morning I came in to the studio to see this rat scamper toward the stairs, before turning around and hiding under my throwing stool. It was looking a little shaky, and I’m guessing the poison has made it sick. I must say I’m surprised the poison didn’t kill it. 

I went for a bucket, and the rat went for a hiding place in some studio stuff, but left its tail exposed. After getting a stoking glove I fished it out by its tail, took it to the mountain and released it. I hope it doesn’t make any predators sick, but I didn’t have it in me to snuff it outright. 

This is the first rat I’ve had in the studio. Field mice are pretty common, and they do MUCH less damage. Anyway, good riddance…

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