Sunday, December 1, 2019

New Studio, New Work

I've been sidelined for the last year as I recovered from Lyme Disease.  I started back in my studio last September with a commission to make very small tea bowls for someone who is leading large groups of people on forest bathing walks that conclude with a tea ceremony.  This commission was fortuitous, as it motivated me to work despite the pain and muscle weakness.  Making very small tea bowls was also easier on my muscles and helped me get back my muscle memory for centering and pulling up.  These bowls were 100 mL to 150 mL capacity, and were so small it was almost more difficult to throw them than regular size. However, the client just wanted her participants to have a small amount of tea each, especially with everything being back-packed into the forest.  I was asked to make them in different styles and colours of my choosing, but with a nature theme with a sprig or stamp.  This was a great way to get physiotherapy and boost my spirits.

The New Improved Studio

Over the summer, I moved my studio out of the basement and into the garage, with lots of light from new windows and doors, plus two solar tubes in the ceiling and a heated floor.  Here are the Spring and Fall views I now have from my wheel.

Here are some pics of the construction process.  I wish I had taken pics of breaking up and removing the original concrete floor, which we did ourselves. Perhaps I don't want to remember?

The octagon particle board pieces on the right, below, are being painted white. They are to protect the tops of the kilns when not in use.  One cannot have enough flat space in a studio.  Initially we made them to protect the kiln tops from construction tools.

We had to live with the original garage contents spread all over our house. Here is my kiln stacked in reverse order in our family room.

The current organization of my new studio, below.  The two metal rolling shelves and the two greenhouses/damp boxes can roll around to make more room or make them more accessible. They also can be rolled tight against the main row of shelving which holds the storage items like tools, molds and glazes.  Also, the heated floor requires as much as possible be elevated so the floor can radiate the heat. I have a small display shelf for current finished work, while the majority will need to be packed away until Guild sale days.

Below is my all-purpose bench with a varnished maple plywood top for easy clean-up when glazing. The removable thin MDF board is clamped on with large triangle bulldog clips and is two-sided for white or brown clay. It can be removed quickly to make more room for glazing.

And here is my stand-up wheel with custom-made water bowl. When it is tight to the pan, it catches more drips when your hand moves between it and the wheel than a conventional round bowl.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Spring Sale 2017

Some new work in time for the Spring Sale.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Ash Firing

Finally tried an ash firing, blowing wood ash into the gas kiln at cone 9, and finishing firing at cone 10.  This deposits ash on the pots in the direction of the flame path through the kiln.

Torso Vase

Torso vase, cone 10 reduction.

Floating Blue

Floating Blue is one of my favorite glazes. There are different layers within the glaze, caused by different components of one of the raw materials, Gerstley borate, melting at different temperatures. This gives the glaze depth.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Orton Cone Box Competition

I entered the following miniatures in our guild's Orton Cone Box Competition, "Thinking Inside the Box".  Items had to be 3"x3"x6" or smaller.