Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ring Of Fire

I've been burning the candle at both ends lately, I tell ya. Getting back into the clay again gets me all fired up to do more stuff. Ha! all 'fired' up! I kill me. Anyway, I'm trying really hard to get the items to the people that would like to give them as Christmas gifts and I should make it. I recently bought new elements for my kiln and Mouse was sweet enough to put them in for me while I worked on other stuff. The kiln is firing much faster now. So, the top photo was taken when I opened the kiln after the bisque fire.
This is all the stuff that came out of the kiln, awaiting cleaning and waxing. The initial firing of pottery is referred to as the 'bisque'. It is done basically to drive all the water and certain chemicals out of the clay by firing the ware to around 1800 degrees F. The ware is put in dry, and while dry, can still be slaked in water and brought back to a workable state. After bisque, it is no longer able to be broken down by water because the clay has gone through a chemical transformation. Flower pots are similar to bisque ware.
Now, I prepare my ware a little differently than a lot of potters do. I trim a distinct foot on each piece and this allows me to wax a very neat circle which will resist the glaze and leave a bare, clean bottom which will not stick to the kiln shelf. And hopefully not scratch anybody's countertops or such. You don't have to wax your feet but it's pain in the butt to try to clean that glaze off if you don't. You can also use the wax for some decorative effects.
Oh, and in between all this I have reworked my window just a little bit. I wasn't happy with the way it was coming out, so I basically simplified the design. I replaced the clear, textured glass with all the same type instead of several different kinds I had before and took out that second curve and a few of the squigglies. I like it much better and am very close to finishing it. I know, ya'll are probably thinking, 'this woman is crazy; she can't make up her mind about anything!' Well, you'd be right, nutty as a fruitcake!

Well, I've got a very busy week ahead of me. I'll show ya'll the monster tree I ended up getting! It's huge! Thankfully, Mouse also helped me get it in the house and set up. It was almost to heavy for me to move around. Going to have to have a ladder to decorate it.

*Johnny Cash


Ed said...

Yeah but fruitcake is in season right now!

edifice rex said...

Hey Ed! Ha! Daddy Rabbit's nickname for me is 'fruitcake'! so, it's not just me that thinks so!

karl said...

that might be my most favorite song ever. country is my least favorite genre too. johnny cash really isn't a country artist though, is he? ring of fire has been covered by a ridiculous number of popular artist. i had a burned cd of over twenty versions a few years ago.

beautiful work, our bowls are holding up very nicely even under the rigid conditions of omelay family regular use.

page said...

fruitcake is wonderful!!! isn't it nice when the kiln works well, is that an L&L? love the new home page and the pics, can't wait to see your tree--very nice pots, tidy feet so neat.
fa la la

I could drone on and on about how much I love your house and following your progress.....but

edifice rex said...

Hey karl! yeah, that is one of my favorites too and probably Allen's most favorite song.
thanks and glad you all are enjoying your bowls. I hope they continue to be a part of wonderful family meals.

Hey Page! yes, it is a L&L! good eye! it's a very old L&L but they are great kilns. Maybe one day I'll have a wood or gas fired.
thanks and thanks and your bowls are in there somewhere! will send them soon!

Beau said...

Just beautiful! I so want to learn how to do that... and a few other things. I really need to get my, um, stuff together... I love those rims on the bottom.

edifice rex said...

Hey Beau! thanks! yes, you need to learn this! takes a lot of patience but you would enjoy it.