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(soda kiln stack no. 2)

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(pots loaded and waiting in the kiln… and starting to unbrick the firing with Ms. Bethany Krull)

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(No.2 stack, post firing)

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(a drawing found in the youth area at the Armory.)

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(No.3 loaded and ready to go…)

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(above: pots loaded and ready to fire, below: spraying in a solution of soda ash & borax)

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(No.3, the fired stack)

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See more pots from the last two firings in “portfolio” or click here

Last week (September 23rd) we loaded the soda kiln at the Armory Art Center full of student work, resident artist work, and some tests.  It was my first time firing the soda kiln here and I was pretty amazed with how many pots it gobbled up, having started off thinking that we might not have enough to fill it.  ha!

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Glazed flower arranger and a plate diptych ready for loading… I love the characteristics of raw glaze on pots.  Sometimes it is more interesting than after they have been fired.

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They were making fun of my business-professional apron! ha! Spraying the soda solution into the kiln when cone 9 was very soft… we introduced 4lbs of soda ash and 2 lbs of baking soda with hot water into the kiln in two 15 minute rounds.

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Stephanie Steufer, fellow ceramics Artist in Residence at the Armory, spraying in soda solution.  Team Red Head was super efficient pumping in the soda solution… we rotated in and out of spraying position every few minutes to get a break from the heat.  The sprayer made the whole event pretty exciting…it is hooks up to compressed air and and feeds solution from a hanging 5 gallon bucket.  (It was as fun as it sounds, and really effective!)

A M A Z I N G.  This is way better than the old garden sprayer method, there is no clogging, no fussing, no melted tips, no pumping… (After using this I never want to use a garden sprayer again!)

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Curious toads hang out in cat bowls outside the dry cleaner’s down the street from the Armory every night like clockwork!  We stopped by to say hello post firing.

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The front view of the fired stack…

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Overall, it was a good firing and am I looking forward to becoming good friends with the kiln…

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Some new jars…

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Little rocks glasses fired in the front of the stack…

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My latest endeavor… rectangular serving dishes (destined for the next soda firing).  Today I started a series of small serving dishes (oval and almond shaped), some more small cups, small bowls, and sundae dishes… Trying to finish a lot of small pieces so I can fire the kiln again sometime late next week… we’ll see what happens!

For the most part, I am settled in my artist-residency at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, FL.  All boxes are unpacked, a work-flow is beginning to take shape, and pots are creeping onto the shelves…  Here is a peak into what I was up to last week:

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One view of my studio set up at the Armory Art Center… with my wheel elevated to throw standing up and knobs and rims of a new jar series on the table.

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My own take on a flower holder… based on a “Five-fingered Posy Holder” from Pennsylvania-German potters of the 1850’s.

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A new series of jars… maybe for the soda kiln (!??!!?!!)

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hurricaneturkey(I am flying the coop and migrating south for a year long residency at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, Florida. I don’t know how I will possibly bear a winter without snow, ice, and extreme wind chills, but I am sure I will manage.  Only eight weeks until the silver wagon and I hit the road! omg.)

P1030348(pun intended!  During my last work session at PTP I am focusing on pots with handles or pots that pour, or both!  Hooray for handles! …mugs, pitchers, ewers, teapots, etc…  This should keep me busy while Glick is off vacationing in Hungary at the ICS. ha!)

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(We hit up Arizona, before NCECA, to make a road trip from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon.  It was an amazing journey and a whirlwind trip… I left Detroit in a spring slush/snow storm and arrived in sunny and hot Phoenix; we hit the road as soon as we hopped off the plane and made it to the Grand Canyon just in time for the sunset!  We stopped along the way for a visit to a white buffalo ranch, they let us in to see the beasts even though they were packing up to move to Oregon.

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5webgcd(Little did I know that this atlas would later double as a blanket when it was actually too cold to be sleeping in the car at the Grand Canyon! Talk about multipurpose packing for an adventure.)

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8webgcf(Red Rocks outside Sedona, AZ.  The drive from the Grand Canyon back to Phoenix was unbelievably beautiful!)

Well, I didn’t take any pictures in Phoenix at NCECA… not one single photograph.  It was great to see everyone, catch up with friends, and make new connections.  As always, I’m looking forward to next year.  Can’t wait to run up the stairs like Rocky in 2010.  ha!