Monday, November 26, 2012

Craft Sales

A photo of my very uninspired display at the last sale I went to. I need to smarten up my display skills. Sold almost everything so maybe I don't! My favorite part of these sales is meeting all the people. I love talking about the process and trying to impart how exciting wood firing is. It is funny when people say "It sounds like a lot of work". I guess it is......but the results make it all seem like fun when it is over.
Today I have to paint lots more scarves. They are all gone and I have my last sale next Sunday. Northern Lights here we come!!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Back to Silk Painting

Top photo is my already painted scarves curing. They have to cure for at least 24 hours before they are steamed. Also some other ones that are outlined waiting for the dye. All those pails below them are my glazes. I am in my Winter quarters now. Or I should say, crammed into my Winter quarters. All the pottery stuff and the silk stuff and the wool/dog fur stuff. A wood stove and an old cook stove that I use as a work table. All I can say is that it is a heck of a lot better than having to try and work in the house!! I have to haul water in but at least it goes out on its own. I have electricity....a very long extension cord. So there are lights and I can run one tool at a time. Luckily I throw my pots on a kick wheel. It is warm though.
Couldn't resist the temptation to do some tropical fish. Outside it is -12 and SNOWING. Tomorrow is pricing and packing pots for Sunday's sale in Tagish. I usually get really good support from my friends and neighbors. This time I have the cream of the crop for them!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Last Wood Firing of the Year

I seem to always be learning things the hard way. I will be spending a day next Spring grinding kiln shelves.....found a couple of new glazes that I WON'T be using again!! I am finished with the Strontium Matt glazes in the wood kiln. I hate grinding glazed on wads off the bottoms of my pots....
Aside from my failed experiments, the rest of the firing went well. Didn't over fire this time and it made a difference in my copper red/purples. It is always the same though.....the good, bad and the really ugly.
This was a tight pack so it took a bit longer. Cone 9 and a half in the cool spot and instead of blasting on I finished the firing. Where the cone pack is usually all melted it was 11 down. Got some beautiful iron reds, but my oil spot experiment is either back to the drawing board or forget it! A pound of glaze in the bottom of a bowl....Mr. Hammer, pleased to meet you!
I won't be firing the wood kiln again until the Spring some time. Got repairs to make and a new firebox door to construct. Now it is off to the Xmas craft sales and dyeing scarves.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Coldest Firing Ever, Hoping Not to Repeat!

If I would have had a choice this wouldn't have happened on the cold night last Sunday. The weather forecast is for more of the same and worse so I had to go for it. I still have one more firing before craft sale season begins on the 17th of November. Those pots are cooling right now in the electric kiln at the school. Hopefully there will be a break in the cold so I can fire them in relative comfort!!
I started the fire at about 8 pm on Sunday night. Going out every hour or so until 12:30 to add to my 'campfire'. At 12:30 I filled the firebox to the top with huge hunks of wood, put in the damper and closed the front up. Tried to take a an hour or so in. At 4 am was back out in the -18 to ramp up the kiln. Luckily my shop was warm so I could go in there and try to get something done in between stokes. A Bourry box firebox is very handy. After a couple of hours I only need to fill it up every 15 to 20 minutes. It was about every 10 at the start.
This firing I did almost completely on very small pine and pine limbs. Big surprise-I checked cones at 2pm and 8 and 9 were down and 10 was going!! Usually 8 starts around 5 pm and the rest by about 7 pm. I opened up the mouse holes under the firebox to get the ember pile burnt off and continued until 3pm. Clammed everything but the mouseholes and went inside the house for an hour. Came back out and plugged them up and called it a day (and a half).
Wasn't so sure what to expect by going this fast. VERY pleasantly surprised. Glazes look good. Last firing was a bit over-fired so some of the glazes washed out a bit. I had one totally ugly pot that I will refire before consigning it to the hammer, but the rest look pretty good. Looking forward to the next one!!
We went over yesterday and got another truckload of that skinny pine. No one wants it for firewood and there is tons of it. Three hours work for one firing?? My kind of work!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Oh What a Firing!

Some of the pots from my firing on Saturday. Some are missing from the pictures because they are already sold and on their way to a new home. Some friends of mine from Prince George, B.C. were up for a visit and stayed an extra day to see what came out. I used some of the very small standing dead pine trees that no one wants for firewood. That stuff burns HOT. Last photo is of the cone pack at the back of the kiln. They were 8, 9, 10 and 11. Not sure how hot it got but I'd say maybe too hot.....but somehow I managed to get some incredible hot spots on a refired pot that was a 'dud' from the last firing. It was an Alberta slip based black that I covered with a Jun. The kiln gods were watching out for me this time!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Camping Trip and Fleece Washing

My photos seem to have gone into outer space... We took a very nice trip to Liard River Hot Springs. It was excellent weather too. One of the days was 27 degrees!! This was our 'spa holiday'. Relaxing in the beautiful natural pool surrounded by trees, flowers and birds. The last morning I heard a noise and a cow moose followed by a calf crossed the exit stream. Pure bliss! Got home and washed a fleece just in time for an inch of rain to fall on it. Think of it as an extra rinse!
Just tried an edit and managed to get my pics back!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

I get to be on the internet radio again! This time my silk scarves are featured.