After days and weeks in the studio at the wheel and the slab roller the shelves in our studio are full of dried and drying pottery. John has three elements to each firing cycle: he wants to get to the orders, add to the inventory and try out new shapes and glazes.
For each kiln load we must make between 200-250 pieces of varying sizes. The kiln shelves are moveable so there must be enough pieces of the right height. Loading the kiln is rarely a straight forward; it’s an art and an intuitive process. I’ll never even try to learn. John knows the good spots in the kiln for the right colors, to not choke the air in the kiln by loading too many plates, and just how close to push each peice to another. After 38 years with this kiln, he knows it best.
Glazing is an insane process for us. We do all the decorating and designing before we glaze, so it’s pretty much dip this pot in that bucket over there.
Sounds easy, right? Right: We either hot or cold wax the parts we don’t want glaze on; we apply inside glazes, which are usually not the same as outside glazes. We wax over glazes on the handles of mugs to keep them white; plug holes in lamps, put on 2 or more glazes. And clean.
Clean the wareboards. Clean the bottoms of each glazed piece. Touch up glazes. Touch up colors.
Six to eight weeks. That’s how long it takes to make enough pots for our 42 cu. ft. kiln.
I took some pics of today’s work in the studio:
I’ve got to get back to the studio to get my “Secret Windows” done asap. I always leave the hardest for last, when I am all warmed up.