Winter Wood Firing

Last Monday, Becky Brandow of Willow Avenue Pottery joined me to unload the wood kiln we’d fired the weekend before.  Between the firing and pizza party we had during the firing, I didn’t manage to get any photos of the firing itself.  Didn’t even get my traditional pic of the loaded kiln before we brick up the door.  Apparently I don’t deal well with distractions.  Oh well…the photos would have looked just like my previous firings anyway.

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Getting Started In The New Year

Like so many other artists, I like to take a bit of a break through the holidays to enjoy the season and my family.  We had a great Christmas and fun with friends on New Year’s Eve.  And just before settling into the studio for the winter, potter friend Becky Brandow of Willow Avenue Pottery in Iowa visited for a couple days.  It was two days of potter shopping (Continental Clay, Ikea, The Container Store and Northern Clay Center), discussion of glazes to test in the woodfiriing we’ll be doing in February and just plain lots of fun.  

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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.

March, 2012 Woodfiring

I’m pretty much perpetually behind, but today I did a little catching up.  I managed to get some week old pots I’ve had under plastic trimmed.  Now it’s time to tell a little bit about my firing last weekend.

Fellow potter/blogger Rebecca Brandow (Becky) of Willow Avenue Pottery in Panora Iowa joined me for a woodfiring.  We had perfect weather and Kevin and I very much enjoyed Becky’s help and company. 

Friday was glazing day.  I added several new glazes for this firing so in addition to the pots, there were a number of glaze sample tiles in this firing.

By mid-day Saturday, we pretty much had everything wadded and loaded in the kiln.  Kevin made us some delicious potato soup for lunch and we started a fire.  While putting a layer of mud and newspaper over the door bricks we couldn’t resist putting this cheery cow picture front and center.  Seeing it made me smile every time I looked at it. 

We put Becky’s favorite vase on the bagwall near a peep hole so she could keep a watchful eye on it through the firing.  

Sunday we finished up and Becky made her long drive home probably grateful she’d be hundreds of miles away and not tempted to peek in at the results in a slowly cooling kiln.  
All in all, it was a very enjoyable weekend, with perfect weather, hard work, and lots of conversation about pots, being a potter, life in general and a few Minnesota/Iowa jokes. 
As a matter of fact, I was so busy talking and explaining things while bricking up the door, I totally forgot to put leave the lower spy hole pulled out a little bit so it could be pulled out.  I didn’t think of it until we’d already had a fire in the firebox so we had couldn’t keep an eye on the lower set of cones during the firing.  Just another stupid thing I’ve done in a long list of stupid things.  Probably won’t make that mistake again.  Thanks Becky for not including that in your blog post and you’re always welcomed back.