April Firing

It’s a tradition for us.  The Bluff Country Studio Art Tour is held the last full weekend in April and we fire the wood kiln just before it so we can have a full kiln of work to unload the Saturday evening of the event with a big party.  And this year was no different.  The weather was a little cooler than we’d hoped for, but you have to take what you get.

We had a wonderful crowd for the kiln opening party and love all the help unloading the kiln.  Thanks everybody for making this firing and the tour a wonderful success.

It’s a Wrap

Ahhhh… sitting with my feet up just basking in the feeling of having a big event behind me.

Yesterday was the last day of our annual Bluff Country Studio Art Tour.  While the event is just one weekend, we’ve managed to make it into a multi-week event here at the studio.  You know how it gets – it starts out a simple thing and then you gradually keep making it more and more and before you know it… it’s taking up several weeks of your life.  But I love it!!  It’s the kick off to our summer sale season so worth starting out big, right?

The weekend before the tour, we fired to wood kiln so it could be opened during the tour with a kiln opening and pizza party.  It’s always fun to be able to share the pleasure of opening a kiln and the surprise and wonder discovering what is found inside.  

So, on Saturday evening, with the help of a great group of friends, we unloaded the kiln fired the previous weekend and it was fabulous to see the results.  The firing was longer than usual and the results were wonderful.  The occasional peek inside while it was cooling did not do this load justice.  

Here are some photos of a few of my favorites.

Ok – no more time for basking.  It’s time to get back to work again.  Be well.  Have a great week.

The Morning After…Woodfiring

It’s the morning after a woodfiring.  I’ve gotten a good nights sleep, my morning caffeine, the second coating of lotion on my heat dried skin, assessed the injuries incurred during firing and gotten a second round of Ibuprofen into my system.  Just an hour away from being right as rain.  🙂

Having now completed our 11th firing I feel like we’ve arrived at a process that works well for us.  Instead of doing everything in one four day weekend, we’ve spread the tasks out a bit.  One weekend I glaze everything I think will fit in the kiln and then some.  The following Friday is spent wadding the pots and loading the kiln.  Then after a good nights sleep, Saturday morning the kiln is lit and we  fire into mid-day Sunday.  The weekend after that we unload.  

It’s a lot of work but so worth it.  Today, I’ll be loading a glaze load in the electric kiln to get one more load done for the the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour next weekend.  I’m a potter, it’s what we do – always have one more load to get done before something. 

Have a great week. 

ps – 
Peeking in the wood kiln will begin on Wednesday and it will be unloaded on Saturday evening during our kiln opening party.

Another Pottery Sale Season Ending

Wow, another sale season has come and gone again.  Seems like I was just setting up for the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour which is my first big event each year. Yesterday was the last day of my Holiday Mud and Suds Sale with my sister Jackie of Wishy Washy Soap Company which is always our big season finale.  

My last glaze kiln load is running right now with  orders I need to deliver before Christmas.  After that, I’ll be able to have a big sigh of relief and move on to planning my 2014 season.  I’m excited about some new changes coming up and a second season of the Lanesboro Area Art Trail

In the meantime, it’s staying warm and waiting for the kiln to finish up.  

Have a great week.

Whew!  The last couple weeks were pretty hectic.  But in the good way.  

Monday, April 22nd we fired the wood kiln which had some challenging moments but ultimately, went very well. Here are some photos of my favorite pieces.


Last weekend we participated in the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour as well as our annual kiln opening and pizza partyIt’s fun to have lots of people come together and have them experience the same excitement of unloading all the wonderful surprises in the kiln.  Add pizza to the mix and how can you go wrong?


Now, after a few days to recover from all the activity, I’m ready to get back in the studio tomorrowA custom order of dinnerware and some horsehair raku sound like a good starting point.  Have a great weekend all.

Post Firing Post

We closed up the wood kiln this morning at 10am.  Despite a troubled period in the middle of the firing (stall and wood stacks getting rained on) this firing went fairly well.  Cones in the bottom and top of the kiln are amazingly similar in maturity which is something I’ve been striving for and don’t always achieve.  So while I didn’t feel it in my 2am delirium, I think this firing shows great promise.  We’ll be unloading during the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour this coming weekend, visit if you’d like to see the results first hand.  Click here for info on the kiln opening party.

You might wonder what a person does the day after a 24 hour kiln firing?  Well, after the best shower in the world and a post firing nap, I had to deal with my excess pot wadding.  I seem to have this nearing neurotic fear of not having enough wadding so I always make too much.   While that normally might be considered a good thing, my wadding mix has oat bran in it that causes the wadding to get nasty smelly and furry in just a couple days.  I don’t usually find the excess wadding until a couple weeks later when it’s absolutely gross.  But not this time, I spent my post firing afternoon, making little wad balls, hoping I can get them to dry before they go bad.  Sad huh?

Now for the post firing beer…

Art Tour Coming Up

Woohoo!! Spring like weather may actually make it to Minnesota!!  Well, whether the spring like weather arrives or not, the annual spring Bluff Country Studio Art Tour definitely will. 

This event for us is the kick off to our summer sale season.  It’s the time I have the largest inventory of the year and since it’s at our studio, I don’t need to only bring part of it to a sale because I don’t have room for all of it in the 10×10 space sales allow.  It’s your best opportunity to find the perfect pot you’ve been looking for or maybe one you didn’t even know you needed before you saw it.

Please join us for the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour

April 26 – 28, 2013
10am – 5pm
40051 Co Rd 12
Lanesboro, Minnesota
link to tour map below

Also during the tour, we’ll be having a kiln opening party on Saturday, April 27th starting at 5:00.  We’ll unload the wood kiln to see the new treasures it holds, socialize (its a party!!!) and enjoying delicious pizzas from our cob oven.  Everyone is welcome so I sure hope you can join us.

For a map to all tour locations click HERE.  I’m at location #22 on the map.

Kiln Opening Party Slideshow Video

During the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour last month, we hosted a kiln opening party.  It was a great time to have so many people around to share my “Christmas morning” and a few beers. Watching the video, it appears I spent most of the time making faces, but I swear in each of the photos I was actually talking so it was just motor mouth funny faces, not “I’m a dork” funny faces.  Honestly!!!

Catching up

I haven’t written anything in a while because I’ve been super busy.  No apologies, just got lots of things to get ya all caught up on happenings here.

Two weekends ago, we fired the wood kiln with a load we planned to unload during the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour the following weekend.  We had great weather and the firing went well.  This past Friday, Saturday and Sunday we had a great time hosting visitors during the studio tour, even if the weather was cold and windy.  On Saturday night, a couple dozen friends and clients joined us for a kiln opening party.  Our favorite people, good food, wine & beer and a kiln opening – what could be better?  

I’m working on a slide show of all the wonderful photos and video friends took during the party.  But in the meantime, enjoy these teaser photos.