Sunday, December 21, 2014

Falling down the well

The Water Well Crock
This is the Cadillac of fermentation, no odor, no scum, and no fuss. Closed fermentation makes kraut success almost a guarantee. Plus it is a pretty sight to behold.

The idea is simple, create an airlock by using a channel of water to stop contaminates from constantly having access to your ferment. This combined with the standard primary follower keeping your ferment under the brine makes it almost too easy.

Another advantage of using this fermentation system is the absence of odor commonly associated with fermentation, especially with ferments such as Kimchi. Your house does not need to smell like a foreign land in order to realize the benefits of it's culture.

Now don't get me wrong, I love open fermentation; nothing like having rows of colorful experiments in glass jars smattered across the kitchen counter. This just adds another layer or option for the fermentation voyage I find myself on these days. 

This one is thrown using 6 pounds of ∆10 Laguna B mx and soda fired to maturity. The liner glaze is a simple tenmoku. The clear is an accumulation of soda introduced into the kiln at ∆9.

Here is a great way to use some Kimchi:

Kimcheese, a schmear

8 oz. or Chevre or cream cheese
4 table spoons of Kimchee
1-2 tablespoons of brine from kimchi

Combine all ingredients in a Cuisinart, blend until smooth.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Another great soda firing!

It's been a busy few weeks around here and as the solstice quickly approaches I realize I have not been keeping up with this blog. Oh, I've written a few in my I thought I might get back into the swing of things by showing the last loading and unloading of the soda kiln.

I was anxious to get these big bottles into the kiln.

Loading large pieces like this was a first for me. Just figuring out the logistics of stacking was tricky. I decided to put them in the middle with one layer of ware under them.

The front stack went up as normal with some really great tiny ware on the bag wall...that's the wall that buffers the flame from hitting the pottery directly. Here is the front stack ready for action.

Here is a shot of the top of the bag wall.

The back stack was similar and as you can see the bottles were nestled between these two stacks.
The firing went way longer than I had expected as I was having issues with the burners. I finished up at 2 am after a 14 hour firing.....I was tired! But I had the good company of Mike from Vessels of Intention keeping me company until the very end! Thank you Mike!!!

We unstacked the kiln the next day and the results were excellent! 

I hope to get dome individual pictures of some of these pieces. 

Here is a shot of the same bag wall......I just love what this kiln does.

A small vase.

Here is the large bottle I have been working on for the last month. I'm in love!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

More or less

This is the glamorous side of etsy. Not familiar with etsy? Go here, and don't ask me what etsy stands for.....I have no idea. However it has been a great place to sell items to people all over this planet and for that I am very thankful.

I have a minimalist approach when it comes to shipping, yeah I live by the seat of my pants. Don't get me wrong I want your items to arrive safely but not at the cost of excessive packaging that will most likely end up in a rubbish heap somewhere. So when I make things for etsy I do consider ease of shipping as an important factor as to whether or not I want to make and sell this item online.
Presentation is also important to me. I want my packaging to represent my sense of thrift and attitude towards life; recycle, re-use, and re-purpose.

Knowledge comes in a slim package.....not sure who said that but I bet they were important or at least good looking. Paper does feel good in the hands though. Hard to replicate with a digital download, although it would decrease paper usage and shipping costs come to think of it. I suppose one could chase their tail all day long if one wanted to. We do the best we can and then call it good.

I used to think that minimalism was an excuse to do less and in a way it is. But it is so much more than that. When you really start to understand it you realize it represents more thought and less 'get er done.' Less is more.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

15 hours and 37 minutes

It is the time of year when everywhere I look and everything I do is part of something fresh and new. I love spring; abundance of fresh goats milk, green grasses a flush with seed heads, open windows, short evening rains, and warm sunny really is magical.

It's the time of year when I don't think about tomorrow, it's all about today. 

10 points to Gryffindor and a cup of choice from the last soda firing if you can guess what this is. Just post a comment with your answer.

The sun comes up at 5:17 am and goes down at 8:55 pm. Meanwhile we nap,

babies sleep,

and we go for late evening strolls around the lake.

There are just so many more important things other than pottery.

Like finding selfies of my son when I download the camera. Time to get out there and enjoy another one!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Seconds; warped cups, failures, cracked cups, basically unsalable cups.

It can be arbitrary as to what makes a piece of pottery a second, at least for a studio potter. I don't really have design runs or a 'line' so I don't have a consistent bar to check my work against. I basically make stuff I like and sell it. If it doesn't sell it ends up in my home, seconds box, or shard pile (where it probably should have gone in the first place.) Sounds pathetic.

I don't pretend to understand my market. People (meaning all of us) are fickle. One moment we like this and the next we like that and don't like this. Some designs are great in theory or on paper but end up being too impractical or like this cup........interesting nonetheless no one thought 'this will be my favorite cup ever!'

So here's a question for you, does form follow function?

I dunno, I kind of think these succulent holders are pretty awesome!

Oh wait, is that a cup too?

Sunday, May 18, 2014

1st Soda firing of the year

Here are some photos of this years first soda firing. 13 hour firing, ∆10, 3# of soda ash.