Kiln Firing Video

One of the guest who joined us last week for the second firing of the wood kiln shot this video. In addition to firing the kiln we made about 28 pizzas in the wood fired cob oven and the video covers both topics. We had some great food and a great time with fantastic friends. Thanks for join us everybody. And thanks for the video Bill!

Click here to watch the video.

Slacker

I’ve been having some computer problems of late and haven’t had an opportunity to write anything about my wood firing last weekend. But I’ve also felt that it would be a better post if I had some photos of the pieces that came out of the firing. As excited as I was to have the first firing behind us, I’m even more excited to be able to open in tomorrow and see all the treasures inside. Next post – photos of pots and some of the firing.

Just For Fun

Check out this “Life List” by way of Lori Buff of Future Relic Gallery. Bold are things I have done. This is just for fun. Copy and paste and put it on your blog. Highlight what you’ve done and change the things you’ve not to a normal font. Hope you enjoy!

  1. Started your own blog
  2. Slept under the stars
  3. Played in a band
  4. Visited Hawaii
  5. Watched a meteor shower
  6. Given more than you can afford to charity
  7. Been to Disneyland (I think Disneyworld counts too)
  8. Climbed a mountain
  9. Held a praying mantis
  10. Sang a solo
  11. Bungee jumped
  12. Visited Paris
  13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
  15. Adopted a child
  16. Had food poisoning
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  18. Grown your own vegetables
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
  20. Slept on an overnight train
  21. Had a pillow fight
  22. Hitch hiked
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (not at my current job though!!)
  24. Built a snow fort
  25. Held a lamb
  26. Gone skinny dipping
  27. Run a Marathon
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
  29. Seen a total eclipse
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
  31. Hit a home run
  32. Been on a cruise
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
  35. Seen an Amish community (spend lots of time in an Amish community)
  36. Taught yourself a new language
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
  39. Gone rock climbing
  40. Seen Michelangelos David
  41. Sung karaoke
  42. Seen Old Geyser erupt
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
  44. Visited Africa (Morocco is in Africa right?)
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
  46. Been transported in an ambulance
  47. Had your portrait painted
  48. Gone deep sea fishing
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
  52. Kissed in the rain
  53. Played in the mud
  54. Gone to a drive-in theater
  55. Been in a movie
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China
  57. Started a business
  58. Taken a martial arts class 5
  59. Visited Russia
  60. Served at a soup kitchen
  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
  62. Gone whale watching
  63. Got flowers for no reason
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma – I try, but they don’t want my blood
  65. Gone sky diving
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
  67. Bounced a check
  68. Flown in a helicopter
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy – I was the oldest kid of 6, all my toys became the younger kids toys
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
  71. Eaten Caviar
  72. Pieced a quilt
  73. Stood in Times Square, on New Year’s Eve
  74. Toured the Everglades
  75. Been fired from a job
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
  77. Broken a bone
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  80. Published a book
  81. Visited the Vatican
  82. Bought a brand new car
  83. Walked in Jerusalem
  84. Had your picture in the newspaper
  85. Read the entire Bible
  86. Visited the White House
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
  88. Had chickenpox
  89. Saved someone’s life
  90. Sat on a jury
  91. Met someone famous
  92. Joined a book club
  93. Lost a loved one
  94. Had a baby
  95. Seen the Alamo in person
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
  97. Been involved in a law suit
  98. Owned a cell phone
  99. Been stung by a bee – more times than I can count
  100. Read a book in one day

Not much surprising there, but still a fun little exercize. Be well.

I’d Like You To Meet…


As many of you know, my daughter Gabby, is a tattoo artist in St. Paul, Minnesota. She completed her 18 month apprenticeship a few months ago and is now a full fledged tattoo artist. Tattoo artists all have interesting stories about the people who visit their shop and the tattoos they have done. Gabby has started a blog where she can share some of these stories as well as some inside explanations of the process and industry. Click here to visit her blog.

Gabby has always been a very talented artist so becoming a tattoo artist was really about learning to do the tattoo part. Many people who become tattoo artists don’t have the art background she had and not only need to learn tattooing, but also have to learn art skills.

Re-do

What they’re supposed to look like

Earlier this week, I had several custom pieces in the kiln for a glaze fire. Wouldn’t you know — I had a kiln failure during the slow cool which is essential to create the deep Iron Red colors these pieces were supposed to have. Now the pieces that came out weren’t ruined by any means, but they certainly didn’t match the other pieces of this custom order out of earlier firings.

What this firing looked like


So… today will be spent making replacement pieces for the order and determining a cause of the failure. It appears the kiln just wasn’t cooling at the rate it was programmed, so it shutdown. Maybe just too tightly loaded. I’ve got some test pieces (aka weird, random pieces I had laying around) firing now to see if the failure is repeated.


Hopefully, all goes well with this firing and I can get the new pieces made and out the door to the very patient couple who ordered them.

Keep you fingers crossed.

Baby Steps


We take things one step at a time here, always moving forward, but never at a speedy pace. Over a month ago, the kiln was built. Next we need wood and pots to fill it. The pots are coming, but I’ve had a lot on my plate lately and I’m not getting them done as quickly as I’d like.

Kevin’s been working with my wood guy, Ryan to get some wood stacked. So… when I finally get the pots done and we can get everybody there who needs to be there, we’ll have the wood we need.

What I Learned

Remember my kiln shelves beautifully covered with a new coat of kiln wash? I showed them to you in a post a couple weeks ago. Well… here is why I love that kiln wash so much.


These are glass like pools of glaze fused to my shelves. What happened???

Apparently the dance I did for the kiln gods was in some way insufficient to garner me their favor for a successful firing. But, I learned so much about refiring the pieces that had been in my kiln when the elements failed. Mostly I learned not to chance refiring them, but I did get some fun, funky looking pieces from this “learning experience”. Check out this lidded jar.


This like so many other times, I am incredibly grateful for my roadie, studio assistant and hard working husband Kevin to help me scrape the glaze puddles off the shelves. Without the kiln wash the glaze would be permanently attached to the shelves and they’d be in a landfill by the end of the day. Kiln wash saves having to replace very expensive shelves when “learning experiences don’t go so well.


Notice the disgusted look on his face and the gesture from his scraping hand.

Still waiting

Here’s a fun little ewer from my last firing

It hasn’t been a really productive week for me in the studio. I did manage to get most of my kiln repairs completed, but am still waiting for the new vent I ordered. Due to a mix-up with the order it probably won’t be delivered until early next week, so I won’t get the kiln all back together until later in the week. During my wait for parts, I’ve filled all my shelves and spare tables with green, bisque and glazed ware (as well as kiln sections). My kiln shelves have a nice white coat of kiln wash waiting to be put to use. I’d hope to get some of the stuff that is sitting fired and ready for my upcoming art tour next weekend, but that doesn’t sound too realistic right now.

On the positive side, it was a beautiful Spring Minnesota day with lots of sun and 70 degree temperatures. This evening as it cools, the neighbors have an oak fire in the back yard that smells great. I’m all caught up on my paper and computer work, ready for a weekend of glazing.
Remember to stop in and see me during the Bluff Country Art Tour next weekend. Be well