Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The early bird catches the worms

I didn't catch any worms but I was in the studio at 5:30 am waxing a few more pots and will glaze them as soon as I finish my first cup of tea.

There are more pots decorated and wadded than will fit in this tiny Olympic gas soda kiln, but since the glazes were made and ready to pour, I decided to keep going, so I 'd have enough for another firing when weather and my energy permits. Seeing all these pots ready to be fired is making me think that a larger kiln might be a good thing down the line. My first thought would be an old electric kiln to convert; but then I think about my health and my age and take a deep breath, and tell myself that it may be time to just give all of that up and stick with this little kiln and fire it the few times a year when the weather permits. That would be the most practical thing at this stage of my life.

Checking today's weather (thunder storms, isolated thunder storms, rain and showers, all day and all evening). The forecast says it clears at midnight when I will be happily in restful sleep, so it looks like I'll be up very early again tomorrow to load and start firing. If I see that there's a lull in those isolated showers, I might just take a chance and load and re-cover the kiln, then wheel it out first thing in the morning and start firing. Ideally I would have love to candle it overnight, but that is just not possible with this forecast.

This rain is welcome since the Eagle Point/Shady Cove fire jumped the fire lines and doubled overnight and is threatening 134 homes. There is a mandatory evacuation order for those threatened, so hopefully, mother nature will help the firefighters with a bit of this rain. August is always a big fire season on the west coast. We get these dry storms - no rain, but thunder and lighting which starts the fires.

We have light rain for the last half hour and with more on the way all day, I won't have to spend any time gardening, so it going to be a long studio day. Once I get another batch of wadding made, and finish these soda pots, I'll start glazing those earthenware pots if it has settled enough for me to get a bit more water out of the bucket, and get those fired over the week end.


  1. I hope you get enough rain to at least get the fires under control if not entirely put out. We also are having rain. We aren't desperate but every little bit helps to keep things going over the winter.
    Happy firing!

  2. P.S. I've just been reading your last post about waiting for your glaze to settle. Linda Arbuckle has some really helpful methods for increasing the viscosity of low fire glazes. She adds Epsom Salts to warm water until some of crystals stay on the bottom. (I use a quart measure) She adds this a small amount at a time until she achieves the thickness she wants. There's an excerpt from her DVD that explains it much better than I can. Go to and go down to the DVD section. You can click on the excerpt; it's about six or seven minutes long. Linda is my go to person for low fire problems.

  3. Thanks but I drained off enough water to get it the consistency I wanted. It was a new batch so I needed to let it settle and get the excess water out. I add extra water to make sieving easier with a new glaze batch, unless I need to use it right away. I have the Arbuckle video and it was great to watch her work.

  4. Mixing a glaze thin to make sieving easier is a great idea thanks.
    Linda is really the best, isn''t she?