The day the Fire Brigade came to the firing

The day the Fire Brigade came to the firing

It has been a dry year so far and our district has a fire ban in place but with our exhibition at the Front Room Gallery looming ever closer we couldn’t hold off any longer. Our kiln is excluded from the fire ban restrictions as it’s an inclosed fire and poses no risk of sending embers into the bush, but the smoke is a different story. At about 800 degrees…

Firing Number 20

Firing Number 20

This firing went like clockwork, we followed the schedule and 12.5 hours later the wood was gone and so were the cones (gone over). A firing that resembled the last one in flashing effects and built on the knowledge about how some of the slips and glazes can work. It was also great to squeeze this last firing in before the end of the year and give us a chance…

Teapot Challenge Workshop

Teapot Challenge Workshop

Our recent teapot making workshop was an exercise in blending the functional with the aesthetic. Four keen potters arrived on Saturday morning to learn the secrets of what makes a teapot work, the practicalities of throwing the various bits needed and the intricate art of assembling it all together successfully. Galleries and lids, spouts and sieves, body shapes and handles were all covered over the weekend and everyone managed to…

Surface Surface Surface Workshop

Surface Surface Surface Workshop

Our recent workshop all about creating innovative clay textures took place against a back drop of an intense winter storm. So whilst the students were busy mixing curious ingredients into clay, slapping on thick slips or stretching clay after blasting it with heat, the rain and wind pummelled down outside. It made for a cosy if surreal atmosphere, warm and dry inside versus monsoon like conditions outside and everyone focussed…

Ceramic College Firing

Ceramic College Firing

The idea for this firing came from a chance conversation I had with Teresa Watson at the opening of the Waiclay exhibition in 2017. From that brief chat the idea was born, and earlier this year the booking was made and workshops planned. I visited the Ceramic College students in their Bayswater studio in mid April to explain clay, slip and glaze choices and how to get the most from…

Taming of the Kiln Workshop

Taming of the Kiln Workshop

This year a keen group of 7 potters gathered at our pottery to learn the secrets of loading and firing our wood fired kiln, with the added bonus of learning soda glazing techniques. I had earlier sent out information about clay and slip choices so that the students would come prepared. On the Friday before loading four of the students came to finish spraying slips and glazing – its a…

Making pots

Making pots

It’s been a busy month of March, preparing the studio for teaching (including building a studio composting toilet) and making pots for the April firing. This month Duncan has been busy teaching in Hamilton and being a firing consultant. We have the Taming of the Kiln workshop fast approaching and still a bit of preparation around the kiln to get sorted in the next few days. It’s interesting to see…

Classes underway for 2018

Classes underway for 2018

Classes started this week and it’s great to see the new faces and their first experiences with clay. Charade welcomed everyone and soon had the clay out of the bags and being teased, stretched and rolled out to form the students first pots. In the background our ware racks are full of glazed bisque ware waiting for Saturday’s loading of the wood kiln. It’s been a frustrating time in the…

12th Firing

12th Firing

It’s been quite hectic this last few weeks and we show no signs of slowing down before Christmas. This last firing was urgently needed for new stock and to test some glaze and slip tweaks that will eventually bring in some of the Rahu clay to the shino and 1:1:1 slip recipes. It’s also silly season for exhibition openings and sale days, all of which are such a necessary part…