song of the week

Well, I am preparing for my barrel firing this afternoon. I must say I am pretty excited to see how things turn out. I fired my latest burnished pieces yesterday, so I will have some burnished, unburnished, white and red pieces to experiment on. Should be a lot of fun, especially for a pyromaniac like me.

Until I get a chance to post pictures tomorrow, I want to start a weekly post where I share one of my all-time favorite songs, or a song that is stuck in my head at the moment. I have loved this song for a long time – Captain Badass by Songs:Ohia. Seems like a great choice for a cold, windy, cloudy Halloween. Enjoy!

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Burnishing

I spent some time burnishing a few pots hoping they can be fired Friday for the barrel firing this weekend.  I may not make it in time, as I think they will still be a bit wet.  I burnished a couple red clay pieces, as well as two white clay pieces.

White-Burnished

Other piecesI also tried burnishing one of the white pieces with graphite.  It turned out very cool – it almost looks like it is made out of metal.  I may not put it in the barrel firing – it looks pretty amazing as is.

Graphite Burnished

the season for the white stuff…

Well, hopefully not.  But we had some white clay sitting around that I haven’t tried throwing yet, so I decided to try throwing a few to include in the barrel firing.  My wife has tried throwing it before and said it is a lot harder to throw than our red clay, and she wasn’t kidding.

My first pieces thrown with the little bit of white clay we have.

The clay feels completely different – very sticky and jello-y.  However, it makes nice smooth pieces, which might be good for burnishing.  I definitely want to keep mixing in some of our white clay as I throw our red clay, to keep working on my fundamentals.  The red clay is much more forgiving to how you throw it; the white clay is not.

The drying results

It was nice to work in the studio today, as it has bee over a week since I was last down there.  It is relaxing to just put on some good tunes (Tom Waits tonight) and just chill out and work on some pottery.  I also trimmed a couple pieces that I threw the last time I worked in the studio, since they had been sitting around for about 10 days.  They turned out pretty well – I think I am going to try burnishing a couple of the red pieces and a couple of the white pieces for the barrel firing.

Afew of my (and my wife's) pieces right after trimming

Sounds like we are barrel firing this Saturday, so I’m trying to get everything cranked out so it can dry and we can fire it in the kiln Friday to be prepared for the barrel firing on Saturday.  Should be a busy week!

Yesterday’s firing

Well, I checked out the kiln this morning to see how yesterday’s firing went. I fired the pieces to a very low temperature, hoping to maintain the shine on a few pieces I burnished to a nice polish. I must say I was not disappointed when I opened the kiln this morning.

Comparison of the burnished piece vs the other pieces after bisque firing

I only fired a few pieces as a trial to see how it turned out. I was worried about losing the shine, and about the pieces not being fired high enough for strength. The shine turned out great, and the pieces still make that nice ‘ping’ sound when you tap their sides. I must say I am very happy with how they turned out.

The burnished piece

Hopefully we can do our barrel firing in the next couple weeks – this weekend might be pretty busy, so I am aiming for the following weekend. That also gives me time to make some other pieces as well. I have some white clay that I want to try (both burnished and unburnished), and my wife wants to include a couple pieces as well.

A close-up of the texture of the burnished piece

It is firings like this that really makes a person want to keep working to see how things turn out. Now if only my next glaze firing turns out nicely as well…

Welcome!

Welcome to my new website!  I am in the middle of firing the kiln, preparing for my first barrel firing soon.  I burnished a few pieces, and am firing them to cone 016 hoping they retain their gloss after being fired.  Hopefully in the next few weeks we can try out our first barrel firing – I’m excited to see how they turn out.