Finally! After seemingly endless days of loading, the front is finished. The large pieces in front are most refires with the exception of the large jar to the right. The big white piece in the middle isn’t a pot, it is a large piece of Shirakawa Toseki (porcelain stone from the Shirakawa area near Arita dam). The square right behind it is a piece of sandstone that I cut in two and hollowed out to make a box.
The date for the fall firing is official! 2011/11/11. There must be some sort of astrological significance to this, be it good or bad.
Since I’ve been making a lot or work to go into the kiln for this firing, I’ve been constantly short on ware boards, so decided the best way to free some up would be to get the pots off of them by loading them into the kiln. This has the added benefit of breaking up the loading process so it is not so danged exhausting.
This afternoon saw the completion of the rear setting, all cone 6 ware give or take. E-Karatsu, Kawakujira, and Kohiki. Most everything is smaller and doesn’t have much height, so to fill in the higher spaces many of the pots were balanced on kiln posts. The added benefit to this is that if the temperature gets too high, the pots will collapse, invert around the posts and stick to them completely and utterly. Post-In-A-Cup.
The two jars are refires that had a lot of unmelted ash on the shoulders. In order to melt it, I’ve applied an ash glaze that should melt and flux the sintered ash underneath, hopefully. And, if I’m really lucky, they will slump or split in the firing, sticking to everything around them.
Coming home on Friday, I noticed I was behind a tanker truck which was polished stainless steel. The convex rear of the tank, coupled with the polished surface, made a very nice ‘fish eye lens’ type of mirror.
The odd part of it was: watching myself in the rear of that truck, I could see my car and all of the landscape around me rushing by, but it was as if I was watching me as someone else, or like watching myself in a movie, but in real time. It was kinda cool. I tried snapping some pictures with my phone camera, but they don’t really convey the experience.
With the wood kiln and trying to fill it, there is not nearly enough shelf space (or ware boards) in the studio. My neighbor has a small grove of bamboo up the hill, and gave me permission to cut down a few for building a ware board frame. Here in the pictures it is mostly finished, but still needs about 2 more tiers added higher up.
I moved most of the new pots out here, and it freed up all kinds of space in the studio, but there is still a shortage of ware boards. Cheap plywood is still about $10 per sheet, but it looks like I’ll have to bite the bullet and buy some soon.
The oval dishes are the next run of food dishes. They look really good with Chosen Karatsu glazing, and also with iron brush deco under a feldspar glaze. The clay is a new one I’m experimenting with, bought from a clay specialist, but after trimming these I don’t think I’ll use this again, at least unaltered. Wedging in some sand might perk things up a bit, but the basic clay body is pretty boring by itself. We’ll see, it might have really great color in the wood kiln and that makes up for a lot.
I had a lump of left over sandy clay that I wedged in near the end of the run. From the looks of some of the trimmed feet, I could have done a better job…
The other day I posted pics of a low table I designed for easy breakdown/setup and transport. Here is the tall version of that table. It uses the parts from the low table, the low table top as the high stretcher and the low stretcher as the high table top. 60 x 90cm leg pieces were added from another sheet of plywood.
After assembling, the table is quite stable, though it does rock a bit because of the plywood thickness. In spite of the rocking, it is very hard to unbalance.
There are two small exhibitions coming up that require something to set pots on. Until now I’ve been lucky, showing at places that have good pot setting space. This time I need to bring my own, so I tried to think of some sort of break down table. Found a couple on the internet, but wasn’t really excited about them and tried to come up with something a little different.
For better or worse, this is what I came up with. They are made from sheets of plywood, hinges, and Douglas Fir beam cutoffs from my firewood pile. Plywood sheets are 90cm x 180cm, cut in half lengthwise to make 45cm x 180cm sections. 3 of these comprise one table. The ‘V’ shaped table body is two sections joined with hinges. A ‘V’ is cut into the beam cutoffs (with my chainsaw) to seat the table body. The table top sits on the ‘V’, I’ll attach cleats later which will prevent the top from sliding.
The reason for the hinged ‘V’ table body is that this can be opened to create a larger 90cm x 180cm table top if necessary. In this case, the 45x180cm table top will be used as a locking stretcher between two 90×90 sections of plywood used as legs. Each leg will have a 45cm slot cut into it for the stretcher to slide into, creating an ‘I’ (if viewed from above). The hinged piece can then be opened and placed on top.