4 February 2012

Last of the earthenware

Time to write something but not a lot has happened and there are no deadlines looming. Which is probably why I am feeling relaxed and easy in the workshop. That and the weather which has finally, after 3 months of storms and rain and gales, calmed down. We've had bright sunny and days for almost a week and it's nice to be able to take such pleasure in rather ordinary conditions.

After bringing a lot of pots into the house to dry off I was able to get a bisque firing done. Today I glazed a set of earthenware plates, a commission from last year which was taking so long to dry that I tried to force dry it which warped the pieces so I had to remake them and then wait for them to dry again. Tomorrow I paint them with cobalt and get them in the kiln along with a few slip cast bowls. I was making a lot of this for about 12 years, it supplied the local tourist market. Last year I sold the lovely stainless steel blunger, which paid for my flight to Philadelphia and released me from the tyranny of continuing to make them. They were a good product, and one of only a few locally made Gaelic gift items on the island, but 12 years of hand painting Brochan Lom (the porridge song) is more than enough for anyone. I don't know much Gaelic but I know that song backwards.
I've been wanting to make this decision for a few years. Space was an issue in the workshop and with the blunger gone I now have an area for red clay work and a pug mill. The downside is fewer firings and a colder workshop. So here's a picture of my last earthenware ready for cobalt and into the kiln.

I find that I am planning the next wood firing in my mind. If this fine weather continues there will also be a rakuing a doing.

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