Casa T and garden in the latest weather. Florida is most beautiful in the summer!
Armory Art Center Artists in Residence Exhibition : showcasing the work of 2009-2010 Armory Artists In Residence including Doug Crocco, Tyra Forker, Bethany Krull, Jill Oberman, and Stepahnie Stuefer
April 22 – May 14, 2010 @ The Armory Art Center 1700 Parker Ave, West Palm Beach, Florida 33401
Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday 10am-4pm, Saturday 10am-2pm
…a lil’ of what’s been happening in my corner office.
I think I’ve lost count of the number of soda kiln firings now, but this one filled with work from the students at the the Armory was as beautiful as many of the recent past. And the top cone pack let out this drip of a m a z i n g all the way down the brick it was perched on.
I was just re-reading a section on “Feet” for bowls by Clay Illian in A Potter’s Workbook:
Page no. 54: “Choosing the right tools and catching the clay at the perfect degree of wetness allows the metal tool to speak with its own voice, with its own gesture. Treat even the insides of foot rings with respect. When bowls are turned over they should reveal pleasing shapes fashioned with bold strokes of the turning tool. The difference between the thrown surface and the turned surface is subtle but enhancing. Sometimes glazes react differently to the two surfaces, and this can be a wonderful thing. Polishing the surface after you have turned it so that it resembles the thrown surface is usually counterproductive.”
She puts it so well. I think it was just maybe the unexpected reminder I needed before heading to the studio to trim some porcelain bowls…
Just before Christmas we loaded the soda kiln at the Armory for the last firing of the year! The stack was a little loose but Kara (Armory ceramics instructor, photographer, and ray of sunshine) had plenty of pots to help fill the space (above, right). The photo above, left shows the addition of a skinny stack of 5″ x 24″ shelves in front of the two deep 12″ x 24″ shelves. The skinny stack helps maximize stacking space in the kiln and leaves about three inches for circulation between the front and back kiln walls and the shelves. There weren’t too many small pots for this kiln, but it will be a fun space to fill with mugs, tumblers, and cups for future firings.
Above: The top cone pack and some of Kara’s pots (still too hot to unload) in the kiln. Her raw stoneware surfaces turned out beautiful with the soda!
Ta-da! Kara and the almost unloaded kiln …with some pots still too hot to unload.
These two bricks were part of the bag-wall of the soda kiln at the Armory. The kiln’s north bag-wall had started to shift and lean toward the wall of the kiln through recent firings, and during firing no. 7 they had finally moved enough to fall into the firebox during the firing. (I was trying to wait a few more firings and for the Holiday break to work on it, but… and it wasn’t major at all and was very easily repaired!)
The bricks became fused together in the direct path of the flame and the soda solution spray… add the heat and accumulation of soda from many previous firings (as part of the kiln’s interior) and the form, texture, color, and surface changes into something rather amazing.