Happy Monday all.
Blogging's fallen by the wayside just recently as I've fulfilled a punishing schedule of glazing, kiln packing and firing during the last few days and nights, so here's a quick update of what's been happening in Hollyford Potteryland.
Friday was a long, long day and evening of glazing. There are a lot of big pots in this firing and the best way to apply the glaze to such pots is with a brush, each requiring three coats. It was quite a task, but I got it done in time to pack...
on Saturday morning, with help from my new Saturday boy, my younger son Joseph who is going to be doing a few hours for me here and there.
Packing this kiln is so much easier with two, particularly when loading the back of the chamber, as it avoids constantly climbing in and out to collect the pots from inside the workshop. I was able to climb in and direct Joe, who would bring the pots to me.
We certainly packed it pretty full. I was much more organised this time than last, as I'd planned particular glazes and forms for certain areas within the kiln. One of my glazes doesn't like it too hot and goes very dark when overfired. Thanks to the kind loan of some tall props from Nic, I was able to put my big jugs at the bottom of the chamber. I hope this will give me my first ever batch of large pots that don't go really dark, but remain a rich amber. I put all the pots onto little clay wads too as the glazes are very fluid when applied thickly(the way I like them) and have a tendency to run and stick the pots to the shelves.
Further up I used my lighter glaze, which takes the temperature much better and placed some pressed dishes at the very top, rim to rim. I hope the naked clay exterior of these will flash nicely when licked by the flame.
The clocks changed on Saturday night, so we decided to start at 9am instead of 8. Jess lit the kiln. Matt was supposed to be joining us, but unfortunately he had motoring problems and so had to call off. It was a great surprise, when during the early afternoon, Matt arrived with his good lady Tig in her car. Marky Mark came at about teatime and continued with Jess and me after Matt and Tig had headed home.
Jess had to leave reluctantly before the end as she had other comittments, but she got to see the first cone going over.
Here are the cones beside one of her little mugs.
MM and I fired on until the end, which was just after 9pm.
I think that the dampness we've had in the firebox during recent firings has been causing all sorts of problems. This time the firing went steadily, but quickly to the required temperature and for the first time in ages, the cones in the front of the kiln went over before those in the back.
This morning I stayed in bed for the first time in weeks - ahhhh, it was bliss. I haven't had a day off in weeks, let alone a lie-in, so even though I woke early, I forced myself to stay in bed for a good recharge and fell out of bed about an hour ago, having dreamed about the new shed I'm going to be building later this week - how sad is that? I need to get a life!
Shortly I'm going to walk to the workshop across the fields in the beautiful Spring sunshine to tidy the place up and make space ready to unpack in a couple of days.
I really hope it's a good firing, I want my best pots ever for the Derby Boys show on Saturday - at least one of our lecturers from twenty odd years ago is coming and I want him to be proud of me - I'm really looking forward to seeing him/them.
So, new pots soon, or gloom and doom, but time will tell, watch this space............