Friday, January 15, 2010

Alternative firings

I spent the day with my good friend Barbara McKenzie firing pots the old fashioned way. Barbara has been like a mentor to me, she is the first pottery teacher I had when we moved to Chapel Hill and I am still learning from her constantly. If you take classes in the Raleigh/Durham area I highly recommend taking one of her classes! This firing today was in preparation for a smoke firing class she offers through Claymakers.
This is where Barbara's Raku kiln is, can you imagine firing here every day!? This is the view she has from her studio. Am I jealous? You betcha!!! And what a DAY!!! Were you guys out in this amazing weather today? It was in the 60's here and the sun was golden.
We wrapped pots in straw, paper, copper wire, spanish moss, brown paper bags, steel wool, and used some chemical concoction that was bubbly and smelly. We need a bit of work on that end so I will talk about that after out next firing when we get it dialed in.
We open fired some pieces, barrel fired some pieces with a lid on and wrapped some in aluminum saggars for the Raku kiln.

We had a flock of Canadian geese come by and watch as we started the barrel fire but the smoke sent them away.......

I'm really happy with our results. I keep trying to make functional work, but I keep getting drawn back to these crazy firings. I am just itching to make some coil pots right now. Barbara hand builds these great bottles and bowls and the ones in this photo looked like ancient relics from Japan.

So as I write this, I am seeing some of the news from Haiti and my heart just breaks for these people. And I think, I spent such a wonderful day out by the lake in the warm sun having such a good time and there are people in one of the most desperate situations I have ever seen. This post seems pretty trivial, but it's what I did today and I don't know what else to do. I just can't get my head around how this is ever going to be better and what are these people going to do and what should I be doing to help. This is absolutely horrific and I feel truly blessed to have my friends and family here safe. I hope all of you are well today and had a good moment with a friend or family member! Peace.................


cookingwithgas said...

What a great way to spend some time.
You are really getting some things down.
Didn't you love yesterday's weather?!!!

Anonymous said...

what an idyllic setting for some idyllic firing. beautiful results too, i need to get a studio near a big pond.

Laura said...

great pics of the firing Tracey. Babz said you all had a great time at it. xo said...

Hey guys, yes beautiful setting for Raku, the weather was amazing! Laura, we had a great time, Barbara is all for experimenting as much as me, makes things fun! I think it should be mandatory, potter and pond!