This business of making pots can kick you in the ass sometimes. That happened to me this morning, when I realized that something blew up some time during yesterday's glaze firing. I knew it as soon as I opened the kiln door and began to look closely at the pots on the upper shelves. Teeny tiny shards of clay shrapnel embedded in the glaze at the bottom of small cups were the giveaway. Shit.
Looking around the burner ports on the bottom, I could see larger shards of Temmoku-glazed clay that didn't belong there. As firing partner Kim Medeiros and I worked our way down through the stack, I knew something bad was waiting at the bottom. There were ten mugs down there, among other pots, mugs in a color combination that two weeks ago became very popular due to a random Facebook photo I posted. I had several people from the UK to Maryland waiting for one or more of those mugs. They'll have to wait longer. When we got to the bottom shelf, it was clear that every last mug had been hit by a shower of small bits of clay when a small vase blew up. These things happen, though rarely in the glaze firing. Shit ... again.
OK, enough about that. There were good pots in the kiln, in addition to the shrapneled mugs. (Did you know the word "shrapnel" came from the British General Henry Shrapnel, who invented a kind of fragmenting artillery shell in the early 19th century? I didn't ... ) I've been making cut-sided pinched cups lately and there were many of them that survived the clay artillery. And there were many good bowls and pitchers and vases and a couple of terrific pots from the ongoing collaboration between Kim and me. I'll attach a few photos for you, though none will be of the ill-fated mugs.
Here you go. Top: One of our collaborative pots, thrown by me at Kim's studio and then altered and decorated by Kim; a mug, pither and cut-sided cup glazed in Temmoku and then dipped in Michael Coffee's Nuka glaze; a group of small vases; a dozen of the 30 small pinched cups that were in this firing.
Scratch 'n Sniff
9 hours ago