Friday, September 10, 2010

Bears? Who would have guessed?

When I go outside the first thing I do is check for 'wildlife'. My trusty dog Cassie is first out and she lets me know who else is out there. She has a major hate-on for bears......we think she was a Karelian bear dog in another life. It is just an assumption you make, living in the bush, that a bear could be outside your door. Usually they aren't, however the possibility is definitely there.
In the last couple years these bear warning signs have started to appear. Some of the new people call the Game dept. every time they spot a bear! They must think they are downtown and this is someone unusual for a bear to walk along the road. There have also been reports of one of them demanding that they try and relocate the bear! Hate to tell them, THIS is the bear's home and you are the invader. If you are respectful to them and don't call them into your yard with your mess they are more than willing to leave you alone. And for the ones who have other ideas, that is what our guard dogs are for.
A couple of images of the changing Fall colours. As we go South it will become Summer again. When we get home it will be Winter.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jessicaès Birds

Here is Ken's comment....''They look better than they do in the pictures". i agree! Wish I had more time, would have made several different pairs to choose from.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pots from Latest Firing

Not really set up for nice photos of my pots. Just quick snap shots. Really happy with them all. The one really crusty gut fell off it's brick right into the edge of the firebox and got lots of everything! A bit of quality time with the flapwheel should smooth out some of the rough spots. Kind of wish I was staying around the next couple of weeks and getting ready for some more firing fun. Next one hopefully in October.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Wait Begins

Finished up at around 8 pm. last night. Started the campfire in the bottom of the kiln at 9 pm. the night before and filled it up with wood every half hour until 11:30. Shut the damper and went inside for a couple of hours of sleep...big joke, too excited about the firing too have much shut-eye! Alarm rang at 4:15. There were some coals still burning so filled her up and off we went. The bottom opening is covered with an old door I got off a wood stove until I change to firing on the hobs.Then I put in 6 bricks and clam it up so no air can enter. Hobs are brick shelves inside the firebox that hold the wood above the coal bed. You have to have a really good hot coal bed before the wood ignites on the hobs. Once you do it is pretty cool to hear the wood explode and the flames get sucked into the kiln and then out through the chinmey!
When it is still dark there isn't much I can do between stokes except stare into space and think about what other jobs I should be getting done in the garden. Once it gets light I can read, drink tea and yesterday, work on a sweater order that is very late.....the hardest part of the firing is just waiting for the kiln to cool. Three days and I get to look at my work! Sure hope I didn't knock any pots over this time.....last time I lost the best 5 pots. They ended up all glued together with melted glaze where they were touching.
Didn't get as hot as the last time, which was grossly over-fired. All wood firers love to brag about how hot they've managed to get their kilns. Yes, getting to cone 12 and holding for 12 hours is really great! No, glaze all over the shelves, slumped pots and wasted wood is NOT! Anyways, let the waiting begin.......

Friday, September 3, 2010


Here in Tagish almost everyone is suffering from berry picking fever. This time of year we pick everything we can find, even if we don't really need it. The conversation is all about berries, how many you've picked, how thick they are (or aren't) without disclosing your favorite location. Being a bit bolder than some of my neighbors I pick pincherries that are planted as landscaping at a government building in Whitehorse. We juice them and then can the juice in quart sealers. This year we have picked over 40 lbs. Some yucky cold day in Winter I'll go out and make jelly with my canned juice and think about this nice warm and productive Summer we just had.