Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Working on Hallowe'en

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Good grief, it's been busy! It's been so long since I've made a significant amount of ceramics with the intent to sell them, I forgot about the sheer volume of work needing to be done. Things need pricing. I need to make an inventory spreadsheet. I need to enter everything in my Square Up. I need to take pictures.

And, oh my gosh! The annual mug shot! I have to figure out how I'm going to shoehorn that into the schedule!

There are so many tasks needing attention. Back when I lived in Folsom, I had everything I needed close to hand; my point of sale setup, my business cards, the shopping bags I use for my customers, price tags, hang tags, etc. I had a very kind crew of people who would come out and help with whatever needed doing. Clear-glazing. Tagging. Packing. Data entry. Good friends and good neighbors, for sure!

All of it is in storage, now, and I need to make a special trip to get what I need. And I have no crew, though my dad is willing to help, as always! It's just too risky to have people close together with Covid-19, and they'd have to be for the help I need.

The good news is, the low-fire glaze firing went spectacularly well! The owner of the studio gave me a special consideration for the necessary firings. I think this is the first time I've had both the bisque and the glaze firing done in a gas kiln.

I messed around a little with layering the glazes for some of the pumpkin stems, and I really like how they turned out!

Ceramists will want to know that I used Amaco Velvet underglazes under Mayco Stroke-n-Coat. They worked together very well, with no pitting or bubbling.


I included this quick video to show how different the glaze is when it's applied (above) as opposed to when it's gone through the firing process (below).

I was forced to sell my Raku kiln before I left Folsom, but it gave me the opportunity to build a new one out of a trash can and fire wool. As always, if I used this type of kiln again, I'd change a few things, but I'm still pretty happy with my firings, even though I'm getting used to a smaller chamber and thus, things heat up faster than I'm used to.

I got a high temperature no-contact pyrometer to start gauging my temps inside the kiln. I'm still learning, but I'm getting better at it!

Of course, Grace had to supervise the kiln setup!
And she helped supervised the guys who were working on our electrical box upgrade! Yes, all this going on at the same time. It's just a perpetual motion machine, here! Oh, and please note how nice the blue on our old table is! ;)

Some friends came by to pick up a couple of pieces, and happened to get to the house when I was pulling out some jacks from the Raku kiln.

It's a productive chaos, though. This is the first year I've gotten back into what we call a "making cycle," and it's been easy in the sense that there haven't been outside sources of distraction for me. I'm really looking forward to next year!


  1. It’s wonderful to see you back in the clay gig!
    Love the table!

    1. Thanks so much! I'm happy to have muddy paws, again!


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