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post graduation). Trolling through my photo library early this morning I found photos from the last events of the semester, indicative of the end. Sans studio, I am still working on correcting my messed up sleep schedule and reflecting on it all (being over). I am just about over my “chill-laxin” phase and realized, while at work today, that I have an itch to make some pots.  So until then… I’ll keep posting about my latest creative endeavors.

[The joy of the last cup glazed for the firing (and the last piece glazed at KCAI)…one of the many lasts that were commemorated. Thanks for reminding and helping me to take a photo Tara!]

[Salt Kiln packed with pots for the last firing of the semester]

[Salt Kiln stacks, post-firing. The right wall of the saggar box on the right collapsed sometime after the first salting, causing the front two stacks of shelves to rest against the wall.]

[All of the pots on the top two shelves were ‘kissing’ each other. Most of the vessels separated with a gentle nudge or tap. My two large double lidded jars toward the back of the kiln were good and fused, but we unloaded everything out without a major incident. Using a wooden wedge and rubber mallet I coaxed the jars apart, after pulling the babies out of the kiln like Siamese twins during a c-section.]

[It was pretty amazing to see what happened in the kiln as the stack shifted. Considering the potential of disaster, it all worked out in the end. Overall the semester was about failure for me and was, perhaps, the most educational of all my semesters. Maybe it was not the best way to end, but, it was the ending.  And the completion of this four-year experience is not THE end anyways, it is more like a beginning.]

[This picture is a classic ceramics department group photograph taken annually on the last day of clean-up. It is specifically posted for Bryan, who talked about this particular moment all semester. Referencing last year’s photo… it is the day when it seems like everything suddenly turns a vibrant green overnight, particularly that tree in the background which always looks so dead during the year. The morning sun intensifies the moment as it creeps onto Warwick.  Another year has past]


[to view larger versions of the images above: just click the photos, you may have to give it an additional click once the photo opens by itself in the window.]


On Friday Nathan invited me to put some pieces in a salt firing taking place in sculpture. The kiln was loaded and the door was bricked up on Friday, it candled overnight. The firing started on Saturday. By Saturday around 10pm the kiln had reached salting temperature. To salt the kiln, we organized two people loading the angle iron with salt as two others introduced salt to the kiln via the angle iron through ports on the front of the kiln door. 18 pounds of salt (below) was introduced in two rounds. The photo above is the kiln just after the first round of salting. It was a beautiful night to be outside with the kiln firing! With trees rustling in the breeze, angle iron & intense heat, I was reminded of the wood firings in Hungary at the International Ceramics Studio.


Sunday brought lots of anticipation as we awaited the opening of the kiln. Nathan and I checked out the Plaza Art Fair and distracted ourselves with the free wireless in the Plaza, waiting to crack the kiln. The first peek inside (below) was exciting, but it was waaaay too hot to un-brick any further.



Gabe, Nathan and I headed back over to the kiln a little over an hour later. The kiln was un-bricked and we finally got a good look at all of the work. The contents of the saggar box at the bottom of the kiln remained a mystery.


18 pounds of salt and a cone 11 down (it was the last one in the pack) provided some pretty amazing results. Homeboys were excited with their results, my pots were in the very back, out of view.


As the kiln was unloaded I got a better view of my vases that were in the firing. I had dipped one of my vases (back left in above photo) in a grolleg terra sigilatta, it turned out to be the best of the flashing slip options I tested in this firing. Grolleg TS surface is silky and smooth, I love it in salt or soda firing.

The saggar box ended up reaching a much higher temperature than they guys expected. All the cones in the pack located in the saggar box were flat and melted (11 was the last cone). Although some of their pieces were fused to the floor, a lot of them survived and are amazing. Check out Gabe and Nathan‘s blogs for more pictures of the firing!