in summer the garden frames my day; early mornings, whether rolling out clay or lighting the kiln, are begun by a short walk up the path to the shed, past waist-high oxeye daisies, overhanging pink dog roses, red campion and all the flowering grasses.

agreengrass

the last firing was a bit sticky, although I lit the kiln at 5 am it stuck in the eleven hundreds all afternoon. but a slow firing means the temperature doesn’t have to get so high to melt the glazes – potters call this “heatwork” – and in fact I ended up turning it off perhaps 20 minutes later than the firing before, although it was lit an hour earlier. today’s firing is going faster, as I dropped the burners down a little, giving them more air to burn. I think the wind helps too.

kilnopen400

the results were good – a whole lot of blue-ish chun, two pieces with the old “chalk beach” barium carbonate glaze, suitable for the hot spot near the flue. a refire which did well, but some other pieces which need refiring and they are mostly in the kiln again today.

aunderfired

I kept this one out, because I want to see what happens to the others when refired in higher parts of the kiln

abottomofthekiln

front left bottom is a pretty dead area – usually I put a tall pot and the props which support the cones there.

1 chalk beach shouldered bottle 52 x 28 cm

this was next to the flue and I’m pleased with the result, though there could have been more early reduction to make the clay pop through the glaze more. still, the purity of it is rather pleasing.

abluebottleinkiln

there were five of the bottles I made in march and April in here – I have nineteen more to fire. the two that were higher in the kiln came out the most blue.

abluebottles

I got braver and fired this incense burner with its lid on (I have been firing them separately) with a perfect result. no sticking, and no grinding to be done because one part has warped and won’t fit.

10 impressed spring rain incense burner 14 x 10 cm

the bowl came out well, though the interior is still frozen lace – all crawled and rolled – not functional. I have only made one bowl which is functional and acceptable so far, out of all these.

5 spring rain incised bowl 17 x 31 cm

the only one with bidori (melted droplets of glaze) was this, which was in a fairly hot place near the flame on the top shelf at the back. it’s great – the combination of the stronger blue, the peeling back in a patterns and the altogether five bidoris makes it special.

7 spring rain impressed bottle with bidori drops

more of this in today’s firing – I have seven large bottles, and quite a few smaller ones in there.

abluespout

I’ll be at Hatfield (Art in Clay) in just under four weeks, and I want a good selection; also Padstow Fine Art need more stock.

padstowpotsandpainting

I love David Pearce’s landscapes and interiors – and the pots go really well with them.

aalium

meanwhile, another visit to the kiln to check the cones, 1222C and cone 8 going, cone 9 thinking about it.

ahogweedearly