After 27 firings in 4 years we’re still learning about our kiln, still teasing out the subtle changes that are needed depending on the wood, load and weather. This firing was pushed out to 13 hours, had a more aggressive early setting of the dampers and we used more passive damper through the soda process. It was not only to see how it would be different from the previous firing (which felt a bit pale), but also to ensure a rich colour from the new slipping ideas.
Both Charade and I were students at the recent Jean Nicolas Gerard workshop held at the Auckland Studio Potters. It was great to see such a fluid maker at work, to see the deft touch and simple gesture articulate his work. So, inspired and with a few workshop pots as guides, we both experimented with ways of incorporating some of what we saw into our own work. It was fun to try different approaches and see which ideas the kiln would treat well.
The darker of my clay mixes with the Karangahake flashing slip used a bit thicker and with more abandon was my starting point. A bit of sgraffito with different sticks, a bit of terra sigillata, a daub of glaze; all applied with a freedom born from inexperience. Some pieces undoubtably worked better than others and there were some pieces I’m still figuring out if I like, but there were some pots that a definitely on the right track and worth making more of…watch this space