Monday, October 26, 2009

Sydney Rosenstone at Work and Play

While firing the salt kiln yesterday,Sydney found time to throw a batch of bowls for a nearby restaurant [in Nimrod,I think] - a click on the title will whisk you there. My friend Alan is visiting from deepest Dorset,and Shelley and Netzer showed up - they're off to Australia in a few days. Tomorrow is my first day back at Tel Hai - we hope to open the kiln later in the afternoon. The firing went well,after the previous 2 which had been less than wonderful. I think the improvement came from a more open stack at the top of the kiln;Sydney thinks it's because of the 2 rows of brick we added to the chimney. Having made 2 changes,we'll never know which one did the trick [but I think it was the stacking...]. The whole firing took 8 hours,including 1 1/2 hrs salting,and cone 10 was half down by the end. I'm using the new salt clay from Potterycrafts,so have no idea how things will come out...


Friday, October 09, 2009

Sandy Brown

Once again,a click takes you there. Our third guest at the forthcoming Symposium. I'm sure that the limited number of tickets will go rapidly [I don't know if they're on sale yet],ve'dai le'mevin,as the old books say.
Happy Simchat Torah, Shabat Shalom.

Halima Cassel

Our second guest - a click on the title gets you to her site.

Guests- : Akira Satake

Not in the Succah-at the Tel Hai Symposium this Chanukah. We are lucky enough to have three very interesting guests this year,thanks as always to Ruth Corman and her Foundation,and the Israeli Ceramics Guild. Click on title to get to his site.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

More Polo

A map of his travels. Looks like he passed through Jerusalem a couple of times.
Of course,he didn't discover porcelain [let alone invent it - God did that,as we're about to read at the beginning of Bereshit/Genesis]: the Chinese had been using it in various forms for a couple of thousand years,but kept quiet about it.
Where does the name porcelain come from? you ask. In my experience,not many people know this: it's named [maybe by Mr. Polo] after a little snail-like shell called porcellus - the shell is named for its pig's-tail-like curly shape,and the clay for the shell's white translucence. You are now a member of the select group who know the etymology of porcelain - spread the word!

Byways of History

Has anyone noticed that Marco Polo's dates [1254-1324] correspond pretty exactly to the maturation temperature range of porcelain,which he is given the credit for naming?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Livnot U'lehibanot

To build and to be rebuilt - that's why we're all here. A shining example this afternoon - four of the current work/study group came over to help us get our succah up: a good time was had by all,and their assistance was deeply appreciated.Thanks,guys! Happy Succot!
(If you're interested in the program in Tsfat,click on the title]

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Up to town this afternoon to get my etrog,lulav and hadassim - as usual,a beautiful and fragrant display on tables the length of Rehov Yerushalaim. Aravot [willow branches],in case you didn't know,are best bought as close to the festival as possible,being of a delicate nature,so I hope to get mine tomorrow. Happy Succot!

Hamada Throwing a Bowl

Click to watch - there seem to be new clips emerging all the time. If any of you have film of Hamada at work [or any other of the great potters] do us all a service and put them on Youtube!