Monday, May 24, 2010


So much going on it seems...tomorrow I finish glazing and load the bourry box, wood kiln...we are hoping to fire on Wednesday and Thursday. I do not have a ton of work in this load but I do have some fairly significant pieces. Among the work I have in the firing are a bunch of teapots, a couple baskets, and a handful of mugs and small tea bowls. I have been working on teapots for an upcoming exhibition in Chautauqua, NY that will take place in late June. In this load I have 8 possible candidates for that show...I only need 4 or 5. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the kiln gods will smile down upon my lowly teapots and not let any strange or unfortunate happenings come to them inside the kiln. We shall see.

I have also been trying to "change up" my work. I think everybody gets into their own routines and ways of doing things and this applies to how a person pulls a handle, glazes a pot, or what they like to make. I have been pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to glazing and what I make. So when I said, "sure, I would love to be involved with the teapot show", I was in a sense, throwing down the challenge to myself because... I never liked teapots. I do not use them and for the longest time, simply didn't make them. Its been a challenge to sort of re-learn the teapot. Now after working on 10 or so, I can not stop making them. I want to make more pieces that require a slower pace and (my favorite part) assembly. Its the putting together part that I like the best and this is a very time consuming step. I have found a greater sense of satisfaction in this as opposed to sitting down and throwing forms that only required a little trimming or a handle. Don't get me wrong, I like pulling handles and working out what type of handle would be best for certain types of mugs, but the small complexities of making interesting teapots has absorbed me in the last few weeks. Now I am working out the slip and glaze for them. I am using way more slips than I have in the past and using them in a way that is a little different in my surface decoration. Some of this linear slip striping that I am doing can be seen on a couple pieces from the last salt firing. I am liking how the striping on only portions of a piece seem to set up larger geometric spaces around the surface area. These "window" like spaces are great for decals. Not only have I augmented my glazing but I have thrown in a lot more texture in the mix too...sectioning the surfaces into neat divisions of texture, pattern and eventually image...again, we shall see if this all comes together as planned.

Above are a some of the teapots that I will be firing in the next couple days...most have been slipped with a VC Toasty Orange. After I shot these images and since they were bisqued, I have applied my usual Helmar Flashing slip and also dipped my brush in Nancy's Neuman's Red. Tomorrow its shino city and getting my wads on ...then... into the kiln bitches!(thats ceramic thug talk)

On another note, let me just say thanks to all you folks who have tuned in to my blog. After 100 posts, I understand why I like this blog. I understand why I do not have a regular web site and why I rely on this format to be the conveyor of information and images of my work. I like the constant change...I like being able to update the blog real quick, just throw something on there or post a new picture. I'm not saying there isn't going to be a Kyle Houser web site before the end of this year but I am saying ...I like this blog...hope you do too.

See ya next firing!


Anonymous said...

lovely teapots kyle, good luck with the firing. that kiln god giveth and thus taketh away. hope it's in a giveth mood.

MudStuffing Pottery said...

I like listening (or reading rather) your thought process with this change up...this self imposed throw down, thanks for posting it. I'm also trying to create or preserve places on pots for decals as well. I call the spaces 'opportunities for embellishment', cause I never really know if a pot is gonna have the images or not, until after the glaze firing, but I try to create the opportunity for it to happen.