I got down to the bottom of the barrel - literally - with a number of my glazes after the January firing. So, with an inch or less of glaze left in several of the buckets, I knew I would have to do a marathon ingredient-weighing session - and a similarly long mixing and sieving and bucket-washing session - before I could glaze the pots for this next firing. (I hate this part of the process, by the way ... hate it.) Hence today's photo of the cinders and ash in the sifter. I get wood ash from Falmouth friends Mie Elmhirst and Diane Salter, and from Dee's sister Ellen in upstate New York. All the ash comes from their woodstoves and is mostly the result of burning hardwood. I sift out the cinders, bent nails and door hinges interspersed with the ash (Ellen's husband Russ will burn just about anything falling apart on their farm). If I do it in the studio, the place fills with a fine fog of ash, so I try to do it outside, where the wind will take away the lightest ash. That's what I did today, freezing my hands. The ash is mostly used in my version of Phil Rogers's "Standard Ash Glaze" from his first book on ash glazes. Phil washes most of his ash, or at least he did when that book was released. But I found that washing ash was an aggravation, so I've been using it unwashed for more than 10 years. It runs a bit more than washed ash, but I double the amount of China clay in the recipe and that seems to keep the running under control. The glaze makes a lovely transparent celadon over my white B-mix stoneware, and a green and runny glaze on the more heavily grogged brown stoneware. Onward to the Shinos ...
I make and sell functional pottery at Hatchville Pottery in Hatchville, a neighborhood of the town of Falmouth, at the west end of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I'm a former journalist - 20 years as a photographer, writer and editor - who began to make pottery about 20 years ago in Alexandria, VA. My training is in pots for eating, drinking and displaying flowers, often with an Asian or late British influence. Hamada Shoji, Phil Rogers, Dan Finnegan, Nakazato Takashi, Kanzaki Shiho are all influences.
Married 40 years to Dee, a massage therapist in Falmouth, with one child, Marcus.
To see more of my pots, go to my website at http://web.me.com/hatchvillepottery/Site/Home.html
DIRECTIONS TO THE POTTERY: We are at 494 Boxberry Hill Rd. in East Falmouth. Take the Route 151/Mashpee exit off Route 28 in North Falmouth, go east on 151 to the first flashing light, take a right onto Boxberry Hill. We're about a quarter mile down on the right, at the corner of Brady Drive. Call 508-563-1948 for more information, or email firstname.lastname@example.org