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.

Bluff Country Studio Art Tour

The Bluff Country Studio Art Tour is just two short weeks away and I’m still busy making new pieces to have available for this fabulous event. Here is all the information you’ll need to visit our studio during the tour.  

Where:      Sue Pariseau Pottery at Old Crow Studio
Location:   40051 County Road 12, Lanesboro, MN
When:        Friday, April 27 – Sunday, April 29, 2012
Time:          10am – 5pm each day

Link to map
   & follow the signs to location

We are also hosting a special event during the art tour – We’re having a Kiln Opening Party!! Please join us on Saturday, April 28th from 5pm to 8pm for all the oos and ahs while we unload the kiln.  We’ll be serving pizza and you’ll get the first opportunity to purchase pots fresh out of the kiln.

Bluff Country Studio Art Tour’s blog

Repost from Bluff Country Studio Art Tour Blog


Artists Stop #8

Artists Stop #8 on the 2012 Bluff Country Studio Art Tour is where you will find Sue Pariseau Pottery.  Sue’s functional stoneware can be  found at 40051 County Rd 12, Lanesboro, Minnesota.   Her work  features a diverse palette ranging from beautiful earthy wood fired pieces to brightly colored oxidation pieces and many shades in between.

Saturday evening (April 28th) from 5pm to 8pm Sue will be hosting a Kiln Opening party to unload her bourry box wood-fired kiln. For those who have seen or will see the kiln firing at Allamakee Wood-fired Pottery, this is a nice follow-up event to see the unloading of a kiln.  Plus, you’ll have the first opportunity to buy pots fresh out of the kiln.

Don’t miss this activity packed tour stop, the kiln opening party or the opportunity to grab fresh pots just out of the kiln.

Wood Firing Workshop

Join me for a wood firing workshop in picturesque Lanesboro Minnesota.  We’ll be glazing, loading and firing a bourry box wood-fired kiln over the weekend of May 25 – 27 and unloading the following Saturday, June 2. 
It’s an excellent opportunity to try this dynamic firing method and enjoy the company of other potters at a quiet, beautiful location in SE Minnesota.  

For more information about the workhop and how to register –  CLICK HERE

What brings joy?

Like so many others, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is a time when I like to look back at the year, reflect and focus on the upcoming year.  One of the things I’ve really thought about this past year are the things that bring me joy. It’s often in very small ways, but still they bring a smile to my face or joy to my heart. Today, I’d like to share some photos of one of the places that bring me joy. 

My husband and I own 40 acres in a small farming community of Lanesboro, Minnesota.  When it was purchased, there was nothing on the property but a well that hadn’t been used in decades.  Since that time, we’ve had a driveway built, brought power into the site, constructed a small building to operate as my studio with a sleeping loft above, established a “yard”, constructed a kiln shed and had a bourry box kiln built there. 

While this was all a great deal of work, it brings me so much joy when I look back to where we started and how the site has changed.  In addition to the sense of accomplishment in making this site “ours”, the quiet, peaceful nature of the areas hills and valleys brings me even greater joy.  

We love the place it has become and the peace we feel when we are there. 

What brings you joy?

Iron Pour

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a few weeks now and never seemed to get it done (just part of a long list. Well now I am…

Back in July, the Lanesboro Art Center sponsored an Iron Pour thanks to a Legacy grant and the expertise of Karl Unnasch. I was fortunate to be able to participate in the Iron Pour and here are some photos of the event and the piece I made. Originally, I’d hoped to make something to be the counter weight for my kiln door, but to simplify the event, they had pre-made mold blanks to a standard 6″ round size. Not big enough for the kiln door but I still wanted to participate.

First we carved our design in molds made from sand and resin.

A couple days later, everyone’s molds were placed in Sylvan Park around the furnace that would melt the scrap iron to become our plaques.

When the iron was melted, it was drained from the furnace into a bucket like thing with handles on both sides. Two people carried the molten iron to a line of mold and poured the iron from the bucket into the hole in the top of the molds. The entire process is super hot, they have to wear heavy protective equipment to prevent burns and to top it off it was in the mid-90s that day.

A day later the pieces had cooled enough to be opened up. They look a little rough with sand stuck to them and sharp edges. That is quickly fixed with a wire brush to remove the sand and a grinder to smooth the edges.

Last, they are polished with stove oil so they don’t rust.

Here’s my finished piece. Clearly, I’m not very talent when it comes to carving, but the event was so much fun. I sure hope they have this event again next year.

Next week

With a wood fire scheduled for next weekend, today was really the last day I could throw anything to be included in that firing. I know… always waiting until the last minute. Have you been talking to my husband?!?

Anyway, in addition to several medium size bowls, cups and wine bottle coasters, I threw a few large pieces today. Not sure if they’ll be dry in time to bisque before the firing, but I’ve got my fingers crossed. I could really use a little help from the weather – NO MORE RAIN!!! Please

The bowl below doesn’t look that big in the photo but it’s about 16 inches across. I always need at least one big bowl in my inventory.

The plan is to run a bisque kiln on Wednesday, unload on Thursday, start glazing on Friday and load the kiln and start a fire mid-day Saturday (which really means sometime before midnight – right?).

Interested in checking out a wood firing? If you can make it to SE Minnesota near Lanesboro, you’re welcome to stop by.

Be well.

Art Tour Blog Feature

I’m the featured artist on the Bluff Country Studio Art Tour Blog. Click here to read the interview (must have been feeling a little chatty when I was writing the answers).

The 2011 Bluff Country Studio Art Tour will be held April 29 – May 1, 2011 and I can be found at the quaint stone school house called Grubtown School on Co Rd 12 southeast of Lanesboro. Check out the brochure and save the date on your calendar. I’d love to see you there.

Long Weekend

We almost always seem to have some sort of project to accomplish over the weekend and this long holiday weekend is no different. On our list of things to get done this summer after the wood kiln construction was construction of a mud oven. We wanted this mud oven to be in the kiln shed and on casters so it can be moved around and tucked out of the way while the kiln is in use. The photo above is the base for the mud oven.

On top of this will be a layers of leveling sand, insulating fire brick, and high temp brick to create the floor of the oven. Once those are in place, a dome of sand will be molded on top of the floor. Several layers of clay and other insulting material will be spread over the dome of sand to create an igloo shaped outer layer. Once the clay is set up enough to hold it’s shape, the sand is removed.

This oven will be perfect for the wonderful breads Kevin bakes as well as pizza or anything else we want to bake.
Photos of the next phase of oven construction will be posted as I have Internet access, maybe over the weekend but more than likely Monday.

Have a great holiday weekend.

Here’s a pottery photo just justify calling this a pottery blog.

Upcoming Shows

My summer show season is just getting started. Despite of the frenzy to get ready for the shows, the work toting pottery around and the set up and tear down, I love the festivals and art fairs. Meeting lots of new people, visiting with the other artists and the food vendors are some of my favorite things, but there is so much more to it. There is sunshine, warm breezes, local music in the bandstand and laughter.

In the next few weeks I’ll be at these art fairs, come check out all the extraordinary artists displaying and get your share of the sunshine and warm breezes.

June 19 10am – 4pm
Art in East Park
East Avenue, Zumbrota, MN

June 20 10am – 5pm
Art in the Park
Sylvan Park, Lanesboro, MN

June 26 – 27
Eagan Art Festival
Eagan Community Center, Eagan, MN

Hope to see you there. Be well.

10th Annual Bluff Country Studio Art Tour – 2010

The 10th Annual Bluff Country Studio Art Tour will be held April 23 – 25th in the beautiful bluff country of Southeastern Minnesota. This fabulous tour provides an opportunity to visit artists in their studios or work spaces which is a special treat.

Since a number of artists don’t have studio space suitable for visitors, a number of host locations are also utilized as group sites. The driveway to my studio space is always muddy and difficult to navigate during the art tour (I got stuck in the driveway twice last year during the art tour).

So I’ll be displaying at this great old stone schoolhouse called Grubtown School which is just a couple hundred feet away from my driveway, but without all the nasty spring mud to traverse. The school house has been remarkably restored and is used as a seasonal rental south and east of the historic town of Lanesboro.

I’ve been working diligently during the cold winter to create a huge inventory of pottery for the tour which is my first sale of the year. So I should have some new items to unveil along with the most extensive inventory I’ll have at any shows for the year. And as an added bonus, I’ll have some wonderful snacks and beverages created by my friends at the Highland Store & Cafe which is just a couple miles north of the schoolhouse.
If the weather cooperates, I may even get to do some throwing demonstrations on the patio outside. I’ve got my fingers crossed.