Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Emptying out the gallery ... or trying to
I've been firing every couple of weeks for the past two months, with the result that I have an awful lot of pots in the gallery. Kiln-openings have been fun and satisfying, but haven't done much to greatly reduce the number of pots on hand. This past Sunday I was at the Cataumet Arts Center arts fair in a sunny little field about ten minutes from the studio. It's always a good show, with many local artists and very nice summer folk who seem to like to buy art. Including pots. So that sent maybe 15-20 pots out into the world.
This coming weekend I'll be at the Creative Arts Center's three-day summer show in Chase Park in Chatham. It's a long drive to that end of the Cape three days in a row, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. We're all hoping for three days of sun and people who have money to spend. If we get our wishes, that should help reduce the pot supply by a few dozen, anyway.
I spent yesterday glazing and packing one last kiln before Chatham. It's a loosely packed load. I've found in the past few firings that looser seems to be better for shortening the firing time and in terms of even reduction in the kiln. The shinos and copper reds need that reduction.
I'll start firing tomorrow morning around 8.
One new addition to the kiln's toolbox is a very fancy and 21st century-looking pyrometer that Jim Akens installed last week. Jim is the husband of Woods Hole potter Annie Halpin and is a wizard at technical stuff. (He's a longtime Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution tech whiz.) My wizardry ends at about the point that I can see cone 11 bending, so I gladly accepted Jim's offer of a gift pyrometer with two probes. Can't wait to see how it works.
As always, I'll attach a couple of photos. One of the mass of pots inside the gallery, one of pots on diplay on the new shelves on the front of the gallery, and one of the top couple of shelves in tomorrow's firing. (Note the red pots on the top shelf that look like they've been spray-painted. In fact, they have. I get occasional very pale white unreduced shinos, which make for very dull pots. I'd heard about spraying such pots with red primer paint, which burns away in the firing, leaving behind the metallic iron oxide pigment. I tested one such bowl in the last firing and it looks, as our UK friends say, a treat. I should photograph it. What was I thinking? Anyway, these small pots further the experiment.)