Yesterday, I participated in a weekly street market in Rochester Minnesota called Thursday’s on First & 3rd.  The event has an amazing amount of traffic due to it’s proximity to the Mayo Clinic.  I’ve participated in lots of sales, shows, festivals and markets, but this one takes the First Place ribbon because it is so well organized.  The staff and volunteers do a phenomenal  job getting all the vendors to their spaces, unloaded, set up and back out again at the end of the day.  If you’re an organizer of this type of event, this group is the gold standard you want to try and match in my book.  

Way back in January, a local PBS station ran a piece on my pottery. It was really well done and great fun to participate in making the episode. Yesterday, a woman walked into my booth, looked at my pottery and then at me and said, “Were you just on PBS?”   “Well yes, in January”, I said.  “No, this morning”, she says. 

Huh – TV rookie that I am, I’d completely forgotten about re-runs. Anyway, it was kind of funny to have a complete stranger comment on seeing the episode. I’d had friends watch it and comment, but I’d never really had anyone else recognize me from it.  

Here is the blog version of a re-run –

Wood firing video

Several months ago, the public television station in southern Minnesota (KSMQ) came over to film a firing of my wood kiln for their series Off 90.  It was a very fun experience and the episode they filmed aired this past weekend.  Today, the episode was also posted on YouTube, so now I can share it with everybody.  

Probably the weirdest part was to hear my voice on TV and I was very grateful that I didn’t make too many funny faces during the throwing demonstration and while loading the kiln.  I usually am making some ridiculous face, sticking my tongue out or something like that.  But not too much of that.  

The entire experience was a lot of fun, and it’s wonderful to finally see the completed project. 

September 2011 Wood Firing

Two weekends ago we fired the wood kiln.  And because the kiln is at our rural SE Minnesota farm (nearly two hours away from our weekday home) we didn’t get to unload until the following weekend.  Having two studio spaces can be fun, but it usually means lots of patience and driving. 

This load had 122 pieces plus some small pendants and buttons (they don’t really count because they just fit in the nooks and crannies between larger pieces).  The above photo is about 1/2 the pieces getting ready to be glazed.  Most of these pieces are glazed on the inside only to allow the wood ash to do its magic on the outsides.
Early in the firing when everything is just starting to get hot, but ash is floating through the kiln on the flames, you can see the ash being deposited on pieces closest to the firebox.  It looks like dust collecting until it gets hot enough to melt.

We had several visitors during this firing which always makes the time spent stoking go a little faster.  The Kolnberger family visited on Saturday evening.  Sydney enjoyed sitting in the glow of the firebox and absorbing some of the heat rolling out. 

During the firing and again during the unloading, we had cameramen from KSMQ’s Off 90 program here shooting video for a potential segment on their story telling program about people, places and events off I90.  During the firing they were using a big TV camera, I think I accidentially splashed glaze on it a few times.  For the unloading, they used a smaller SLR-like camera and it was easier to forget the camera was there. 

I haven’t gotten to really sort through and photograph the pieces that came out of that firing, but here is one of my favorites.  Hopefully, I’ll get through things soon and have another post of just photos. 
Be well everybody!!