Pages

Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Firing!

Well, I finally got around to firing my kiln yesterday for the first time. April 25, significant, because it was also Wesley's 16th birthday. I didn't have a lot to fire, but I used some vases that I didn't like, to experiment with and I had some bowls that I wanted to try out. The bowls came out insanely wonderful. I'm really excited and ready to get back in the studio and make hundreds of them!
The firing was so much fun because it was a rare weekend that Gerry was off on a Saturday and he was here to help out. It was pretty funny in the yard, caterpillars were dropping all over us and the pollen was literally coating our skin. Maybe April isn't the best time to work outside.
I have never fired this kind of kiln before and just sort of went on instinct. It's amazing how strong your kiln instincts get. The kiln climbed steadily to 1900 degrees without any problems and all in all it was a great firing. This was the first time Gerry has seen a Raku firing and I think he is hooked now. It is so addictive.

Earlier in the week, I had the great pleasure to invite my friend Charlotte's high school son, John, in to talk to my class about his sculptures. He did a couple of demos on techniques he uses and then the kids tried out the techniques with their own work.
Ian is one of those kids that you just know will do great things in life. He pays attention, works hard and is meticulous with his work. he worked for an hour in class the first day, went home and worked until 9pm then came back to class the next day and worked for 2 more hours on his sculpture. It turned out so great, I loaded it in the kiln this morning.

Also my child turned 16 this weekend and we got her a Yamaha keyboard. The band has been wanting to add one and she just has a natural inclination to playing keyboards. It's been a really busy week and today, I went in to the ArtsCenter very early before anyone got there and unloaded a kid's kiln, loaded another. Then I glazed all of their cupcake boxes with a white base, I am going to get some china paints and let them decorate with paints. I also glazed the plaques some of them made for Mother's Day. The studio I use for the kids doesn't have access to the glazes and it is just easier for me to do it. Did I say easier? Right! And last, I mixed up five Raku glazes to try out for the Raku class I am going to teach at The ArtsCenter. They are hydrating now as I blog, I need to go out and sieve, so I better get to it. I'll be going out to work at Mark Hewitt's next week. His May sale is coming up very soon. Have a great week everyone!

11 comments:

Linda Starr said...

Congratulations on your first firing. What fun that looks to be and how beautiful the bowls are.

tsbroome said...

Thanks Linda. Raku is sooooo much fun, but smelly and dirty work. I like the instant gratification, I get so impatient for kilns to fire. I'm enjoying all of the flowers on your blog!

Judy Shreve said...

YaHoo! Your bowls are beautiful. And that kid's sculpture is amazing -- good teacher, huh?

Happy 16 to Wesley!

Ron said...

Hey those glazes look great. Congrats on firing the kiln and getting off to a good start. HB to Wesley.

tsbroome said...

Thanks ya'll, I passed on the birthday wishes to Wes.

Laura said...

Yowzah! Nice pots! You rock, wonder woman.

jimgottuso said...

wow... look at that blue bowl, raku firing makes me nostalgic

jbf said...

Congrats on the first firing! The bowls look great. I dream of having a raku kiln at home someday. Can't wait to see some more from the next firing.

Peter said...

Really nice bowls. I do especially like the greeny blue one on the right with the dark crackle pattern. P.

cindy shake said...

OMG!! Your bowls are FANTASTIC! I was sooo hooked on Raku firing with my friend, the one time I got to do it. What do you like to use in the cans for combustibles?

My Raku friend has found that National Geographic magazines with all of their inks work great and she has found that (free!) packing paper is also good too. How exciting for you :o) Do you think you'll wear a respirator or mask next time? My friend doesn't but I did, maybe because I'm used to wearing one when working in metal and was sensitive to the chemicals that were being thrown off.

tsbroome said...

Hey Cindy:Thanks for your comment,
yes I usually wear a mask, but this was just one quick firing and not a lot of smoke. I use strips of newspaper for combustibles, someone brought some shredded paper from a shredder but I didn't like the pattern it left in my pots. I let the bowls get a lot of oxygen this time and I like the effect. Thanks to the rest of you guys for your kind words as well!!