Sunday, October 02, 2011


At least some of my pepper plants are enjoying the safety of my studio for a couple of days.

We're still in this unseasonable cold spell, which fortunately, will be breaking Tuesday. Tonight it's going down to the low 30's, so I'll be covering a few more tender plants and leaving outdoor lights on to generate a bit of heat to help. I'm grateful that we didn't get the snow that they got in Boone last night!

Since I'm really tired of waiting for this cold/flu thing to totally leave,(mainly, I'm bored!), I'm going to try to get some studio time today. The past two days have been spent going through years of recipe clippings and cards and getting them sorted and filed into various recipe boxes and folders. With that job done, I'm ready to get back to work even if my energy isn't 100%.

Talking to Tom Turner at the party last night, about kilns and glazes, I found myself in firing envy, when he said his new Cone 9 crystalline pots were firing while we were partying. And of course, my husband Jim, who has been bugging me about switching to electric firing in my old age, was giving me that "I've been telling you to do this" look! LOL

I have a base formula for a cone 6 crystalline glaze that a friend in our glaze testing club/group in Oregon, gave me over fifteen years ago; and like Tom's current crystalline glazes, this one doesn't run either. I should play around with those a bit this winter, since I contemplated crystalline firing at that time, and amassed a lot of information on the process. After serious consideration, and after making pots and saucers, I realized that I just didn't want to get into that whole thing of having to make saucers, chiseling them off the pots and grinding those glazed bases, not to mention how often elements would have to be replaced. I know you don't have to make pots you like, you just have to like the pots you make; but I realized, that although I might like those pots; I really wouldn't enjoy the process.

Tom mentioned someone (I think he said in Florida), who's designed an electric reduction kiln that's doesn't destroy the elements after a few firings. I don't know if it has globar elements, or if it's some new technology; but it does sounds intriguing! I'd like to get an electric kiln that's smaller than my large Skutt but larger than my tiny test kilns and one that reduces would be a great studio addition. I don't know if this is a kiln that was just designed for personal use or if there are plans to produce it commercially; but I will definitely try to keep track of it.

Today I need to finish up some pots that have been under plastic a few days. I just hope they're still soft enough to alter and finish. Time to get to work.


  1. June,

    You have SO MUCH knowledge to past on. Have you considered looking for a couple of young, starting-out potters that would like to learn soda firing and having them share the work of firing in trade to use the kiln and your mentoring? It would be a great deal for them.

    Cheers Jody

  2. Most of the firing is not a problem for me. It's just at the end when I'm having to spray the soda and it's late and my body is fading that it's a stretch and a strain. Last firing, a neighbor shared the kiln and it helped a bit. I'm hoping that down the line I can lower the temperature to cone 6-7; but first there will be a lot of glaze and slip testing to do. I'm doing a wood/soda firing with a few other people at the Energy Exchange in December, so I might get enough information to switch to the lower cones for the soda kiln.

  3. Yeah, I hear you. I fire a wood/salt kiln with a friend and by the time we get to throwing salt, I am fading fast. I had intentions of firing my own gas soda kiln to the cone 6-7 range, but all the glazes I "know" are cone 10 so I have been doing that. I need to do the switch myself. You learn, then you can teach me, lol.

  4. Jody, a lot of cone 10 glazes work at cone 8, so if you replaced the potash feldspar with neph sy in one of those forumlas, that would lower those recipes two cones. That's the possible easy fix; but there are plenty of cone 6 -7 recipes on line that would easily replace most of what you are using - i.e. shinos, temmokus, celadons, iron reds, oribes, etc.