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…

Coldest firing

Coldest firing

A busy couple of weeks making by Charade and I and we managed to get enough pots ready for the firing. Laurie helped out immensely by providing about 2/3 of the timber – a curious mixture of pallets and very old Rimu, retrieved from a farmers field. This was added to our pine and gum stash. Rose was also onboard and even a few pieces from the Paeroa Potters. Starting…

First Firing Workshop a Success

First Firing Workshop a Success

My ’Taming of the Kiln’ workshop attracted 6 keen participants, eager to learn the tricks of loading and firing my wood kiln. They brought with them boxes full of pots that needed glazing and the spaying of slips on the outsides – all depending on what clays they had used. It meant the load had a big range of clay/slip/glaze combinations. The loading went smoothly with lots of help rolling…

Kiln ready and waiting

Kiln ready and waiting

With the first kiln firing workshop only days away I’ve been busy building a new constant gradient path from the carpark up to the kiln for the wood trolley. The future plans include a motorised winch to do all the heavy lifting. Also realised that without a balustrade around the kiln deck and with 6 keen stokers I might loose someone over the edge! So that’s now all safe with…

Number 8 Firing

Number 8 Firing

This firing was crucial, testing of new clays, slips, glazes and a large commission (to help pay for the new lighting) were all going into this one kiln load. To add to the fraught mix was a new supply of wood (gum generously donated by our neighbour) that we hoped was dry enough. The weather was the one factor that played into our hands with a fine spell just in-time…

Let there be light

Let there be light

And so it came to pass that the electrician visited our studio, and lo and behold a marvellous sight was seen. Actually it was two local sparkies and lots of cable, but we now have offical power and oodles of light. What a difference it is to be able to work at night, or even when it gets gloomy. This is also one of the last steps we needed to…

Entrance deck

Entrance deck

The days of entering the studio over a gangway are over. The long planned for deck between the studio and retaining wall is finally in place and makes the connection between the studio and kilns a much less fraught affair. Still a bit of landscaping and drainage to sort, but the improvement was pretty much the instant I laid the boards in-front of the door.