Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Still Working Hard

I have been having the best time with this new line of work. My wife came out earlier tonight and said, 'your work finally has a common look.' It is what I have been trying to do for so long--have a cohesive lie of work that is easily distinguishable (I spelled that right on the first try :) I still need to find a good bowl form that works well with the cups and such. I have a teapot form that I want to try and a couple of pitchers and some other things to try. I still want to work with faceting some more work--it's funny that I have been trained to throw thin for so long,
I am having trouble throwing thick enough to facet.

In other news--it is freakin' HOT!!! Heat index was 107 today, and it's supposed to hit 112 tomorrow! I was dying out in the studio tonight, but it was a blast anyways. The other problem with the heat is that my pots are drying super fast, and its hard to keep them at the right firmness. I had 15 cups to turn into mugs that I threw last night and covered tightly. I took them out tonight and left them covered loosely. Well, by the time I got 10 trimmed, the last 5 were too hard to trim and attach handles. I gave them a good spritz with the spray bottle and covered them really tight to absorb some more water. Hopefully they will at least be soft enough to trim tomorrow, and if handles don't work, they'll just become tumblers :)

I have been enjoying my carving experiments, and you really have to be really deliberate about the strokes and not hesitate at all or else the lines just look bad. My carvings aren't particularly impressive, but they are getting better. I am going to brush on decoration on the last 5 mugs instead of carving.

I can't wait to get back to throwing. The only bad part is that I am accumulating a ton of pots and still have no glaze for them. I also want to make a shopping list for glaze chemicals tomorrow and decide on some glazes to start mixing for testing.

Well, thats enough for tonight. I am really enjoying blogging again, and I'm going to really try to keep up better. So, night all!


  1. Hi Ben, I just found your blog and really enjoy it. I like your work as well. A couple of things which you might want to take with a grain of salt. As far as firing your cone 8 electric to cone 10, unlikely. Not because of the bricks but the elements. It's actually recommended that if you want to fire to say cone 6 that you get a kiln rated to cone 8 (which you have). I have a cone 8 kiln that I fire to cone 6 and a small test kiln rated to cone 6 that I foolishly listened to my supplier telling me wouldn't be an issue getting to cone 6 and it's already struggling. Also, I've heard of several potters who fire at cone 6 soda. One of the most important things I think is not the temp so much as the clay body (I think it needs to be high in alumina-or maybe that's low-check before you take my word). Of course slips could help a body that isn't co-operating. Sorry so long so I'll skip the rest of my lecture.

  2. Thanks for stopping by! The cone 8 kiln was going to be converted to gas and I am planning on tearing out all of the elements and controller. I think it must be made with K23 bricks, but I don't have a model number on it to check with Paragon. As far as slips go, I am in need of some flashing slip recipes good for cone 6, so if you have any ideas, they would be much appreciated. The electric I'm firing in now is a cone 10 Cress, but I've never gone past cone 6, and don't really plan on it. Any other comments are greatly appreciated, and I've got a thick skin, so don't worry about offending me ;)

    Thanks again. I'm off to see your site :)

  3. Oh, so maybe you are thinking of firing to cone 6 soda using the old electric. I get it. Check out the site for some info. It's a group devoted to salt and soda and open to members, like a forum.Yeah if you're going to soda fire bricks would be an issue. Probably need to coat them with ITC or I've also heard some coat with a Shino glaze. Good luck, I have plans to do the same, my old electric is in the shed waiting.

  4. That anonymous is me, deb again. I don't know what's up with this.

  5. Don't know about the anonymous thing :) Thanks for the link--I read the forum on conversion a while back, and there is some really great info in there. I hope to join once I actually start firing in soda again!