Project Update: More Raku

Still having fun with the copper matte luster glaze from Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques. With the last firing, three pieces went in and three came out, intact and with good color. Which makes for a good day. One of the things that makes raku firings exciting is the remarkable chance for failure. You have a piece that goes from about 1800 degrees Fahrenheit to nothing is seconds and that shock leads to breakage and structural failures. But it also leads to your brilliant colors and crackle or antiquing effects. So is it worth it? I think so even though another

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Copper and Cobalt Raku

Here is proof of more good results with the copper and cobalt glaze I talked about a few posts ago. I’m not going to go so far as to call it bullet proof but it’s being fairly consistent in terms of colors and results while still offering surprises. Not sure you can ask more from a good raku glaze. I’m going to work on some more complex designs since I’ve run out of test pots and I have some ideas now. Plus it’s fall which makes for good firing weather especially at night. And speaking of projects, I set a

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Project Update: Raku and Melomels

On Sunday, I discovered that I had an almost full tank of propane and that completely derailed my carefully constructed list of chores since I knew I had bisque sitting on a shelf just waiting for a new glaze recipe. So some chores were ditched and some hurried through so I could get have enough daylight to at least get started. I don’t mind finishing in the dark. It makes it easier to see into the kiln.   So I whipped out one of my favorite sources for alternative firing methods (Alternative Kilns & Firing Techniques) and worried over the recipes

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In a Different Kind of Pickle

I haven’t talked much about the garden this year because, well, it’s still a bit painful to consider. Between late freezes, multiple re-plantings and the abundance of grasshoppers, the yield was less than spectacular. I especially missed out on the cucumbers which, of course, I planted extra since my experiments with refrigerator pickles last year met with some success. But no cucumbers this year. But I ran across zucchinis at the market and I remembered that Alton Brown had mentioned that you could pickle pretty much anything and a quick search yielded this recipe for Zuni Style Zucchini Pickles. Sounds

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Ponderings from the Wheelhead

My schedule is pretty full at the moment so I’m not spending as much time at the wheel as I would prefer. But I take advantage of the time I have and I’m working on larger art pieces instead of the functional ware I normally focus on. So, in a way, I’m back in training, pottery-wise, since I haven’t worked with larger pieces in some time and I don’t get to practice as much as I used to. So each session is almost myself teaching myself, using the same lessons I would normally give a student. Recently, I found myself

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Yoga and Pottery

The asanas of yoga are practiced with the intent of preparing for seated meditation so I shouldn’t be surprised by the fact that a yoga practice would help with working on the wheel. I haven’t had much time to get my hands muddy since I started the immersion program. As a matter of fact, last Sunday was the first time I really had a chance to sit and work for any length of time. I think I’ve mentioned before that what I found inspiring about yoga was that it got me to that quiet place that I experience when working

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The Mammoth finished…

I fired him to Cone 06 which I should have taken him to Cone 6 but this is the first big sculpting project I’ve done in a while and I did not want him to explode in the kiln. When he came out, there were some stress fractures on the base so the low fire was a good plan and also left the clay porous enough for paint. As far as paint, I used acrylics over a black base and finished it with a spray matte finish. The finish came out a bit shiny but in the right light it

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Tortilla Warmer 3.0

This version of the tortilla warmer turned out pretty close to perfect. It’s almost 10 inches across which is the size needed for the fajita style tortillas. Low,wide forms are a challenge for me especially low, wide lidded forms. But I have a few more of these to make now that I have the process down. I’m also progressing on the pylon project using slab techniques. Had a bit of a breakthrough in that area around mid-January. Off to a great start, pottery-wise this year. Gotta keep up the momentum.