The unloaded pots have now been hammered, moved inside the studio, or are getting refired. The ones that have been moved inside the studio are starting to get cleaned up and polished, in preparation for next spring’s shows.
All in all, there were some 750+- pots in this load. I’m not sure of an exact number because I started smashing before I had a count.
Here are some of the pots that I started cleaning up today. Most of them are small dishes, ranging from 10 – 17cm across. All sizes listed are width, and are approximate measurements.
This is the teabowl that fell into the firebox during the last firing and broke into about 12 pieces. After falling and breaking, the firing continued, and the larger shards warped a bit, making it hard to get the pieces to fit just right.
Everything went back together, but some of the spaces were 1mm wide or more, and a lot of filling was required. Not only that, but the edges of the larger pieces didn’t meet evenly, making a lot of uneven fill lines. I thought about grinding down the higher edges, but in the end decided against that, because the fill lines were already so wide in some places.
So, here is the finished piece, with the lacquer and gold brushed on over the fill lines. A pro could have made thinner, more even lines probably, but it was good practice for me. A few more days to dry completely, then it will be time to whip up some tea…
All of these pots were made with clay from the property, discovered right under where we built the kiln. It has a lot of iron, but still takes some heat, and won’t bloat at higher temps. Probably due in part to the fact that it is very open with a lot of sand and other even larger inclusions. Even vitrified, it still sweats because of the openness. With use, the sweating stops, as all the pores fill with minerals from the water and tea tannins, etc…
Today I paid a visit to a clay supplier in in the nearby town of Ureshino. They make a clay body that I am hoping will be suitable for large work in the front of the kiln. I picked up five 17kg pugs to make some tests with.
Two of the six filter presses.
Cakes fresh out of the press waiting for the pugmill.
A very small sample of their bagged clay.
Crushing, mixing, and blunging equipment.
Piles of Toseki (porcelain) waiting for the stamp mill.
After getting clay, I dropped by my favorite tea store for a good deal on seasonal tea, and to talk about having one of their certified tea instructors give a presentation during the biannual Workshop in Taku next fall.
Ok, lots of things to say about this last firing, but with the studio show starting tomorrow I just don’t have time for a long post. Here are pictures instead, commentary and contemplation about these results will follow in a few days…
I finished the deco on the cups from the previous post a couple days back, and glazed them. After doing the iron brush deco, I gave them a THIN coat of clear glaze, very watery: about 32 on the hygrometer. The deco images were visible under the glaze when it was still wet, though once dry it was no longer transparent.
Here are the images of one of the cups before the glaze was applied.