After a wicked hot May, we’ve had a few perfect days this June. I took the opportunity to fire up the Raku kiln and finish off some pottery that’s been waiting far too long!
the Raku kiln is sitting on top of some soft brick to protect the grass
Assisted by my faithful puppy Kato we settled in for an afternoon in the shade.
Since it’s early June there is lots of birdie action to watch. I got pics of a Redbelly woodpecker and a Downy Woodpecker hitting the suet cake. Judging by the wad of suet they were carrying away I’d say they were feeding babies.
There was a pair of Bluebirds checking out one of my ceramic houses.
And this little ceramic owl seems a bit nervous about jumping into the fire!
I taught a Raku class recently and as usual I learned a lot. But first I had to refurbish my Raku kiln. I’ve had this kiln since the mid 80’s? and the last time I used it I burned too much gas. So I ordered a new kiln blanket, and relined the original kiln right on top of the old liner. The blanket is made of spun kaolin fibers and create a fabulous heat barrier in a tiny space.
the blanket can be cut to size with scissors
After piecing together some scraps on the bottom of the kiln and using high temperature wire to secure the seam it was time to apply heat!
It was a beautiful morning when I set up the kiln. I used some soft brick stacked two high to hold the kiln shelf. In Raku firing the pieces are usually fired one at a time so the shelf is pretty small. A round shaped kiln is also a plus as it directs the flame around the piece keeping the temperature more even. A small gas tank is attached and we are ready to fire!
As students arrive and glaze their pieces we get a rhythm going, preheating the next pot on top of the kiln helps to move things along as the piece is already hot when I restart the kiln. Each firing takes 15- 30 min.
I recently donated a Green Man to an auction for my favorite local art center. The Dairy Barn in Athens OH.
Paw Paw Green Man Sun
I also decided that I was done doing craft fairs. Even though I enjoy meeting my customers in person and talking peoples ears off, the time to pack, haul, set up, and tear down a decent display is a youngsters game. I’ve been called many things but “spring chicken” hasn’t been heard in a month of Sundays.
Not to mention the breakage.
It feels good, almost as good as actually losing weight ;-D
What to do when the snow flies? Fire a kiln! I’ve been playing with glass again and I found a new rabbit hole to explore. I’ve entered a few of these pieces into juried shows. I’ll let you know if I get in anywhere. Some of them are so new I’m not sure if they’re done so they still reside on my work table.
You can find my work year round at the Dairy Barn Arts Center, Athens, Ohio and Nelsonville Emporium, Nelsonville, Ohio. I’m always online just click on store in the upper left corner to go to my etsy shop. There’s no need to register with etsy to shop, they have introduced guest checkout.
This year I’ll be doing two craft fairs, kicking things off on black Friday in Covington Kentucky at the Ohio Designer Craftsman Winterfair!
I’ll be doing the Dairy Barn Holiday Bazaar the following weekend. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
I am so very lucky to live in a most bountiful place, surrounded by trees, flowers, streams, and stars. All of this natural beauty impresses itself into my artwork much like I impress leaves into clay. My husband and I have planted hundreds of trees on our farm since we moved here so many years ago.
I have collected leaves, bugs and other natural ephemera for as long as I can remember, I’m still partial to the red leaves of fall. When I started making “leafy” pottery I tried to turn clay leaves into bowls and such but the age old question asked by many through the years is “but can you eat spaghetti out of it?” No.
I did find ways to use leaves to print onto thrown ware and tiles, from super simple to extra detailed.
dogwood leaf bowl
leaf print on tile
My latest leaf product has come full circle, individual ceramic leaves that can hang on the wall or sit on a table, or both. Click on store in the upper left corner to see all of my products. I’m currently running a coupon code in my online shop for $10 off any order over $50, good until January 30,2018. Just put HOLIDAY17 in the coupon space at checkout.
The Majestic Gallery in Nelsonville, Ohio will be exhibiting two of my sculptures as part of their Majestic National juried show. The show opens on October 27 as part of the Final Friday events. Final Fridays in Nelsonville are a wonderful example of community fun, the square is pedestrian friendly, it’s laid back and has a wonderful range of art experiences.
The featured photo shows a slumped glass and ceramic sculpture “Carried Away”. Also in the show is “Medusa” a stoneware wall sculpture shown below.