Friday, January 27, 2012


The kiln required a delicate touch to unload, but there was [amazingly] next to no damage to pots- a squashed bowl or two. The shelves collapsed because the bottom shelf was standing on only two props [instead of the regulation three], the third having been knocked over as the shelf was put in place. Something to avoid next time.
Marcus O'Mahoney told us [at the Symposium] that he thought salt and wood didn't go so well together,one canceling out the effects of the other; I can see what he means from this firing,where the 3 kg salt we threw in wiped out most of the wood-fire effects that we saw from the last firing,even though we got much closer to our top temperature. The salt just gave a rather bland greenish mottled surface: having said that, the pots in question didn't have salt-glaze slips on them...

Monday, January 23, 2012

We Unload

It could have been much worse; in fact this gentle subsidence has a certain delicate grace and poise to it.Remarkably few pots look welded together. We shall proceed.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

What Awaits Us

We could see the middle stack of shelves gradually collapsing during the firing; it looks to have subsided gently and come to rest [on the back shelves],rather than crashing to the ground,as I feared. I foresee a tricky unloading on Monday [probably followed by a good massage].

Friday, January 20, 2012

Waiting Game

While waiting for the wood kiln to cool,I've started firing some crystal pots: Here's the first run at those red-slipped vases,with changes made to my current crystal glaze to allow for these slips' known dislike for titanium. Not bad for openers;now I have to decide which of 7-8 possible parameters to change for the next round...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Last Half Hour (or so)

Mr. Bourry's Box in action

Light My Fire!

Cone 8 down in front ( 1250 ish),throwing in a bit of salt...

C'mon Baby

And Our Love Become a Funeral Pyre

After being stuck for a while,a flock of pyromaniac males arrived, we changed tactics and now appear to be on the rise...

Try Now We can Only Lose

This is more like it- flames being sucked into kiln- no blockage this time

No Time to Wallow in the Mire...

Lake Rosenstone

The Time to Hesitate is Through...

Off this morning to have another go at the wood-fired kiln...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Crystal People

Here's a link to a recent session of the Crystalline Glaze Forum -a fine combination of esoteric information,friendship,craft lore,co-operation,support and good pictures. I lurk there often,and contribute infrequently.[Photo: Phil Hamling]

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Tel Hai this morning

That video isn't up yet- internet issues -stay tuned. Meanwhile, I arrived at Sydney's after Tel Hai to find the kiln unexpectedly in mid-fire: the blocked arch had been opened up,some other structural changes had been made,and a trial fire was in full swing to see if everything was now working. We kept going 'till 800 degrees,getting the Bourry box stoking system to work for the first time,then decided to call it a day and wait 'till next Wednesday for a properly-planned refire.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

This morning @Tel Hai

Monday, January 09, 2012

Throw and Blow

I'm uploading a brief but possibly entertaining video of me throwing these bottle shapes to Youtube: it seems to be taking a long time [do megabytes travel slower in the rain?]-when it's up and running I'll link the title...
....There! All better! My connection's back up to speed-click on title to watch video...

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Is This Any Clearer?

Created using Skitch by Evernote.

Meanwhile,Back in the Studio...

The time has come to gird the loins for another run at the crystal glazes: this time I'm going to play with some coloured slips [instead of adding colouring oxides to the glaze]- especially the tricky encapsulated high-fire red stains: here's a bunch of them after bisc.


Here you can see the problem more clearly. We're looking from inside the firebox at the arch that leads through into the ware chamber of the kiln;the vertical prop you can see in the top half of the picture is supporting the arch,and behind is supposed to be a 17 cm gap for flame to get into the kiln; here you can see that there's a row of brick sealing off the arch instead- blocking heat from reaching the kiln. Not smart.


This just caught my eye on my evening walk a few days ago.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

We Live. We Learn.

That's the theory, anyway . This morning I drove to Yesod to have another go at our wood fired kiln with Sydney, Michael and Shir. The kiln seemed smoky and recalcitrant from the start- never a good sign; we like a kiln to reach 700/800 degrees without too much bother. After a few valiant skirmishes we decided to call it a day, and it was only then ,after we had stoked our last stoke and the fire in the firebox had died down somewhat, that I peered into the kiln and noticed that the arch from firebox to kiln was almost. completely blocked off by bricks. What they are doing there is anyone's guess- we'll find out when we open the kiln next week. I'm hoping it might be something we can fix in situ and refire the kiln as it stands.