Copyright and other blogs currently being worked

A young"ish" Buckminster Fuller and a flexible skin geodesic dome about the time he taught at Black Mountain College!

Please come over and see my comments and photos on my other blog "When I Was 69." And sometimes I have some ancestry information on the blog "Three Family Trees."

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Finally the pots out of the pit

I wish I knew how to load an album where I want it on my blog...but it kind of took over, and didn't give me instructions.  If you know this trick, could you send me the info, please?  So I don't have to upload all the pics, which takes forever here in blogger land!

So here are most of the pots out of the barrel pit kiln.

As always, when first observed, there are lots of flakes of various fire elements still on the pots.  Above is one of Sarah's pots.

The top of a little carved slab looks pretty dull, and has a piece of framing broken away.  However, on the under side (the top had been placed face down in the sawdust) there's a different view entirely.

What a lot of fun colorations here!

Below are my thrown vase, and a slab constructed vase, (one of two I had pit fired)

My larger slab constructed vase has two holes, as if it were able to be used over a fire by sticking either a stick or ropes through the holes.

Now I just have to clean them up.  My mind says I'd like to rub wax into the clay for a good smooth finish to bring out the colors.

Does anyone know where to obtain bees wax, or another natural (non-petroleum based) wax?

Charles has recommended Tongue Oil...but it doesn't appeal to me by just the sound of it.

Pit firing party

Apologies about the attempt to post an album through Picasa.

OK, if you were there, you know how delicious it was. And fun to watch that barrel smoking those pots down the hill. Sitting on the deck was fun, chatting too. So here are the pics.

Green flames were fun, probably from copper carbonate that Charles liberally sprinkled on sawdust!

Ah, the pork, the salad, the beans, the mac 'n cheese, the deserts...can't remember them all but we were stuffed with wonderful food!

 Ellen demonstrates how to go down that invisible step, which had already been christened with wine.

Once you settle in an Adarondack chair, then eat, you're in big trouble getting up again.

Thanks to Sarah (below) who took this picture after I left...that's Charles' vase on top of coals.

Just before we left, as it was getting dark and we had about 15 miles of mountains to wind through, there was this tiny bright red bird with black wings, just barely visible.  Can you tell what it is?

look in lower center of picture, just to the left of tree trunk, below where you can see branches

Loading a pit firing

Marsha, Charles and lots of good cooks and potters made an enjoyable evening.

Here you can see the huge pit, and it was a bit too big for the small amount of our pots, so Charles brought a steel drum and cut out the bottom for our "pit barrel firing".

The pictures of dinner will follow in my next well as the barrel kiln firing!

Friday, April 27, 2012


I've made a few of these models of the Labyrinth from the Chartre Cathedral in France.

I've never been there.  But the path of this meditative form may be followed by just holding it in your hand and tracing the glazed parts with a pencil or pen, or even your finger.  Using your eyes is part of the slows your breath, (go slowly so you can notice everything) and brings you to focus on something besides the daily life around you.

People who walk a Labyrinth regularly will tell you all the ways this is healthy, healing, and a spiritual practice.

I've been part of giving a workshop where we not only created our own drawn and colored labyrinths, but then built a big walkable one outside in a field.  We didn't try to make it permanent, but used feed corn, so birds and deer might feast upon it after we created and walked it ourselves.  It was fun!  And of course we had a slide show of famous labyrinths.  You may have seen the other one that I make in clay for finger meditations, a triple spiral like the one at Malta and Newgrange, Ireland.

It's international, global, and basic for many who follow that path.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tumblers with sprigged attachments

These are fun, and were quite an experiment.  The thrown tumbler is speckled brownstone, with the shape altered to a triangular rim.

I then added sprigged forms that I'd made from my own molds...using the brownstone for the slip.

In case you didn't see the mugs (Carved animals on Mugs) , I carved each animal for them, then glazed them with various colors.  I've decided against that step already.

And then I made a mold on each animal...usually at the bisque stage.  Ask me how  if you haven't ever done this.

For the tumblers the animals are then pressed into my own bisqued molds, and are just thin slabs which attach pretty easily.  I did worry about air bubbles under them, and poked their eyes through to help with that.

They all made it through the bisque firing, so I dipped everyone in a mild celedon glaze combination that we've been using in the BMCA studio.  Mild means it has some HR satin glaze mixed in with the celedon, because we've had celedon pin holes wherever it felt like it.  There actually is one or two on these tumblers, but not too many.

The hint of green around the animal sprigs isn't all that great, but it's fun to have a P-5 (porcelain that matures at cone 5) that sticks on the brownstone.  I did wipe the celedon off the animals a bit, to give them a more white body.  They stayed shiney though.

I thought of Wedgewood and those wonderful sprigged white flowers on the powder blue forms while I tried this.  Of course local potters have been doing sprig work, and even painting with fine white clay slips on darker bodies for many years.

The reason everything gets posted on my blog?  It's a great archive of photos.  I've lost many photos on flash drives and computer hard drives that crash...but can actually find them on my old emails and blogs.  Hope that continues!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Vase fun

remember I said I was done doing yellow and blue glazes?  This is the absolutely last one (for a while).

Another feminine vase with the curly handles...

This is my favorite glaze combo...matt bronze green sponged on, then amber sponged on top.  Never know what it's going to do, and I usually like it's antique effect.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

More recent pots from the glaze kiln

When is a bowl not a bowl?  well, perhaps when it has a pour spout, especially made for those of us who like to mix the pancake batter and dollop it out onto the griddle or skillet!
A medium mixing bowl is just right, me-thinks!

8-1/2 inches diameter, about 3 inches deep.  I had a lot of trouble trying to get a photo of this very shiney amber glaze with the raspberry rim.  Sorry the quality is not very good.'s the standard fare.

 Eggshell glaze, with Mexico turquoise glaze on the outside, on speckled brownstone clay.  8-1/2" diameter, about 3 inches deep.

A feminine vase with some snowflake crackle exterior, satin white interior.