Sunday, March 16, 2014

old dog/old tricks

Winter Basket...

Forget the new tricks thing...this old dog is learning old tricks and is up to my old ways with these methods.
Winter Basket...detail

I have the luxury of having a large, down draft, car-kiln at my finger tips and as part of my job these days I also fire that large car-kiln with everybody's work packed inside. However I have spent the last 7-8 years making work without a large gas kiln. I spent years working at Little Mahoning Creek Pottery firing the wood kilns and years also spent working out mid range glazes and firing in an electric kiln. For several summers at the Chautauqua Institution I had the pleasure of firing their Blaauw gas kiln which was basically a peeps, no cones...just a motherboard on a clean, red and white box. I haven't really fired a big gas kiln since grad school.

Soooooo, I am re-learning about high fire, cone 10 reduction firings and re-discovering an interest in processing my own work through that beast. I have fired it 3 times now all with different results. The first time was pretty good...pretty even on the top and bottom but just not that great of a reduction. The second time fired really well...very even and a solid reduction producing great copper reds and sweet shinos. The last time I fired it...mehhh...not so great...I over packed it with a ton of little stuff from all the classes. It has very uneven...and and cold all over...not an evenly heat saturated kiln...but, a very nice reduction nonetheless.

I'm learning and getting better. I plan to fire again this week, lets see how it goes. In the mean time here are some pieces that I am pretty pleased about from the last couple of firings. The top image is a real sweet piece...glazed in a celedon and white and then fired again in the electric kiln with my own digital photo images...Winter Basket...I have more decal pieces on the way! I also am enjoying doing a bit of brushwork and figuring out new and interesting combinations of glazes. Monday I will open an electric kiln decal test on all the cone 10 glazes we have at the studio. More possibilities...more challenges...

Enjoy the pics and btw, I am starting to slowly add work to my Etsy if your interested in some things you see here...check it out further there...
homefry ceramics.


Think Spring!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Take a Class!


Thought I would mention that I am teaching three classes this upcoming term at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. If you are in the Pittsburgh area, maybe one of these three classes are for you!

Raku : A Twist on Tradition

Intermediate Ceramics

On the Surface : Creating Intricate Surface Design

Above are the links for each should take you to the same place and from there you can read a description of each once you click on the title. All three classes are 8 weeks and all three explore a different type of firing for the work completed in class. Raku,obviously, intermediate will mainly make work for the high fire reduction kiln, and  the surface class is geared toward multiple firings in the electric kiln. A little something for everybody.

Come on out Pittsburgh and get your hands dirty with me...

imagine the possibilities!