It’s always exciting when the kiln is finally cool enough to be unloaded. What crashed and burned? What came out weirdly better than expected? And glaze really is weird. Other than pigmented varieties, the pre-firing version doesn’t look anything like the finished product. For example, the bright blue on the inside of the mugs pictured is a deep orange-red in its liquid form (suspended powder, really). The gold on the little face sculpture is painted on as a dark charcoal gray. I am mystified and more than a little jealous of those people who presumably sat down with their chemistry sets and said, “I think I’ll mix this, this and this,” and created a deep red glaze that breaks to dark gray over texture. And for now I am grateful to reap the benefits of their hard work. Some day, though, I hope we have the time and storage space to create our own glazes from their element components.
After a brief period without a kiln, it’s really nice to be back in pottery production here in Milwaukee. Our little electric kiln has been tirelessly spitting out all kinds of work. In between making special orders and shop pieces, our goal has been to make at least one bowl a week for Empty Bowls, hoping to have 25 ready to donate by October’s event.
It’s been interesting changing from the hot and dry climate of Arizona to the cooler and moister air here. The work sure dries a lot (a lot!) slower here, but I find I get a lot less warping because of it. A good trade-off, I guess.