Fat Bottom Girls!

Thick Bottoms

Raku luminaries had a thick beginning! I had to cut a hole on top of three raku pieces and WOW I have more practice to do to get thinner bottoms.

Live and Learn

George Gasoigne

Free Range

This years’ woodfiring was postponed slightly due to flooding.  Two weeks ago the wood firing team commenced the process with storing of wood and loading the kiln. Loading the kiln is definitely a fun event due to the number of good folks who come to help.  I missed the loading because of my 9-5.  For several days, 4 hours a day, the team fed thewood-kiln and last Thursday the kiln was unloaded.  Now the unloading part is the one phase that I haven’t experienced yet so I was “stoked” to get that chance… but as it turns out my hot water tank wanted our full attention that day.  C’est la vie. Now I can change the elements of those suckers! LOL. I vow to experience the unloading at the next wood firing event and then some!   

Christmas Wishes

A very good family friend loves soup.

I thought I’d design some bowls with a Ukrainian Easter Egg inspired theme.  After researching the meaning of the symbols I realized that maybe less is more? So I focused on good health (wheat, pine needles, grapes), Christ (rose star, fish, fishing nets), and spiritual growth/prayer (ladder), and everlasting life (wave/curls). I even included stars.  Hopefully these bowls turn out well, as the intent of the decorations are my Christmas Wishes for my friend and for everyone.

Merry Christmas!

The bowls pictured have the designs in black, red, and yellow underglaze, all covered in Crystal Clear glaze. They should be ready in time for a holiday delivery. I’ll post the resulting photos once they come out of the kiln.

The bowls came out in time for a Christmas delivery! Two bowls were chosen: the cross of red in center (top left) and the cross of yellow in center (bottom)

I researched the symbols used on Ukrainian Easter Eggs and settled on just a handful that resonated (and that I could try my hand at). One of the resources used was a lovely find, “Pysanky Symbols“: http://bookczuk.blogspot.com/2015/02/2015-version-of-pysanky-symbols-chart.html, created by Amy Romanczuk. According to the blogspot, “Amy Romanczuk is an artist and retired pediatric nurse in Charleston, SC. She is self-taught pysanky writer of Ukrainian heritage. Several of her original design pysanky were accepted into the collection of Museum of Ukrainian Decorative Folk Arts in Kyiv, as representational from artists outside Ukraine.”

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Wood Firing Clay Pottery In-Process

It was a beautiful day in central New York on Saturday, May 28, 2016.

By beautiful, I mean the clouds were puffy white against a sky of deep blues, and although the breeze was slight, the temperatures were in the low 90’s and the sun was beating us down like a..   well, let me just say it was HOT! We’re not exactly used to 90 degree weather here in CNY, especially so early in the season – but like most folks I talked with I wasn’t complaining.

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We arrived to the destination of the first wood firing of the year (there will be 2 more sessions this year)! The area seemed most welcoming with a good deal of positive loving energy. And upon quick glance, the care and work associated with building a wood-firing spot were definitely evident.

We proceeded down the path to the hot spot – literally, where high stacks of hard and soft wood  sat patiently waiting for their turn to help realize the dreams and hopes of those who created more than 400 earthly creations.

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Sean was the only volunteer present at the time. He welcomed us warmly (excuse the wood-firing pun), sharing the history, his insights, teaching us about the wood-firing process and the furnace. We are definitely appreciative of his wealth of knowledge and generosity!

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Sean shared how the surfaces of the pottery pieces could be affected by their placement and direction facing the fire.

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The addition of soda ash circulates in the furnace to help produce a glazed effect on as many surface locations as possible.

We stayed only a short time but learned a lot!

I am truly in awe and in appreciation for all the people that worked together to make the wood firing a reality.

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First Wood Firing

I spent several months prepping for my first official wood-firing of pottery pieces that includes mugs, vases and a pitcher.
The reason why it took me several months to create 20 pieces was that the time I allotted myself was divided among the class project for serving items and the home project of building a chicken tractor! Imagine that, me – a city girl – building a mobile chicken coop.
In all instances I am so grateful for the support of my family through this period in my life, and through the years. Heart-based creations and experiences all around.

The picture is a sample of the wood-fired pottery pieces, some with a hint of a glaze called “Pig Iron”. It’s a mystery how the pieces will turn out – and that’s part of the fun!

Pig Iron Glaze on three pottery mugs ready to be wood-fired.