February 2013 Wood fire

Last weekend Becky Brandow from Willow Avenue Pottery joined me for a wintery wood fire.  Yesterday, I unloaded the kiln and spent a little time taking photos. 

Every firing has it’s good and bad outcomes – here are some of my favorites pieces. 

A couple slip decorated bowls glazed with amber celadon.

Snowflake impressed tile with turquoise glass


Random other things

And my favorite Becky item… you’ll have to watch her blog 
for more of her work from this firing.
As I mentioned, not everything turns out as you’d hoped and I’ll discuss those in my next post after I’ve had a little time to explore the hows and whys of my disappointment in them as well as what can be learned and improved.  
Have a great week.

Wintery Firing & Giveaway Reminder

I just finished up a winter woodfiring with my friend Rebecca Brandow of Willow Avenue Pottery.  Becky pushed the kiln through a stall at around 2000 degrees to get this firing done.  Way to go Becky!!.

Here is a the last picture we took while holding the kiln at temp so the bottom part of the kiln could catch up to the temp on the top of the kiln.  Cone 10 is on the left, cone 11 center and cone 12 to the right.

And just a reminder… my Blog Anniversary Giveaway ends on the 15th.  To find out how you can win one of these pendants, click here.

New Clay

During these winter months, I do a lot of throwing getting ready for spring and summer events.  Since I don’t have as much time to spend in the studio during the spring and summer, I try to get as much made during the winter as possible.  This process has helped relieve some of my anxiety and allowed me to better enjoy warm weather season that is so short here in Minnesota.  

Today I was throwing mugs and some bowls for an upcoming wood firing.  I normally use Continental Clay’s B-Clay but occasionally like to try some different clays to get a little variety in each firing.  This time, it’s Continental Clay’s Woodfire Porcelain.  It’s a dream to throw and not a huge change from the B-Clay which is a porcelain/stoneware mix.  I’ve got about 25 pounds more of this clay and then I’ve got some Buff Stoneware to work with as well.  I’ve used the Buff before and it fires to a much darker color than the B-Clay so it’s a great clay to use a white slip on for the color difference. 

Have a great week.

I Got Distracted

Really… it’s the story of my life.  Look – something shiny.  

Anyway.  If I hadn’t gotten distracted, I’d have told you that I dropped some pottery off last week at a new sales venue.  But now that I’m at least temporarily back on track here, I’ll let you know all about it now.  

Now through the end of January, a selection of my pottery will be available at Simple Soaps for Simple Folks in Dover Minnesota.  Simple Soaps for Simple Folks is a super cute shop east of Rochester MN selling not only amazing goat milk soaps and body products, but a wonderful collection of handmade items from many other local artists and crafters of SE Minnesota. 

Several months ago, I mentioned several opportunities I had as a result of participating in the Thursday’s on First & 3rd events in Rochester this summer.  This is one of those opportunities. 

Stop in at Simple Soaps for Simple Folks and you just might find some of these soap dishes there along with many other amazing gift ideas.

You might be a wood fire potter if…

I had a load of slab wood delivered by the local mill a couple weeks ago and this weekend Kevin and I spent a little time cutting the 8′ slabs into pieces that would fit into the kiln’s firebox. After getting through one bundle of slabs, the chain was wasn’t working so well so we called it quits for the day.  We’ll need to have the chains sharpened and fill a couple more pallets next week.  

While we were working we ended up having a conversation which ultimately evolved into “You might be a wood fire potter if…”

So all you potters following, give me your “You might be a wood fire potter if…” ideas.  I’ll start –  You might be a wood fire potter if you have saw dust in your underwear and you don’t care. 

Have a great week everybody!!

New Sales Venue

I’m so excited to announce the Bank Gift Haus in Wykoff, Minnesota is now carrying my pottery.  This gift shop has changed hands recently and re-opened last weekend with many great new items, including my pottery.  Yah!  I delivered several pieces for their open and have lots of new pieces for in progress for their fall and holiday season shoppers. 

As you might guess, the building is a renovated bank complete with a large safe and teller window.  If you’re in SE Minnesota, stop in and visit the Bank Gift Haus. And did I mention they also sold delicious fudge??

Thursdays on First & 3rd

This Thursday you’ll find me and a large collection of my pottery at the street market in downtown Rochester MN called Thursdays on First & 3rd.  It’s usually a huge event and I’m hoping it will be a great pottery sales venue.  If you’re near Rochester, come down and see us.  There are countless food and art vendors and performers on two stages. Look for us on the far north end of the booths on First – see ya there. 

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.

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!!

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.