Saturday, August 23, 2008

taking in the day

This is still technically part of the end of a crazy busy week, and yet it's the most relaxed I've been in a while. A flurry of throwing to fill another kiln, which of course meant one day where the phone rang every 10 minutes and everything I put on the wheel ended up in the reclaim pile, adding to the frustration and panic that I wouldn't fill the kiln to fire to fill again to fire to fill the gas kiln at the end of next week. Well it was a bit loose at the top, but the bisque ran last night, so I'll be throwing crazy to fill at least one more in the next week before the glazing fun begins. And now I know I'll have work from a couple of other potters to fill out spaces if needed, which of course means I'll have more than enough! Is there ever such a thing as throwing without a deadline?

I went by the studio this morning to grab some things for the day and learned that when I'm not there at the top of the firing to have all the windows and door open, it can get quite warm!

It's a cooler day here, and that was the top of the firing so I'm sure it's cooled down a good bit by now.

The rest of the week included glazing a kiln load of bowls with John Hartom that I'm firing today for Empty Bowls. Once a year he drives a truck load of bowls half way to Michigan, meets a volunteer for lunch, moves the bowls to the volunteer's truck and comes home. The bowls go to an event where they're sold for Empty Bowls and to benefit local food banks. Because of the timing, he needed a kiln other than his own to fire these in, and I welcomed the chance to get a firing in to kind of re-acquaint myself with this kiln. Now that I'm just about out of the Residency, I'm firing all my cone 10 work at WestFire Studio in West Asheville, home to pottery by Laura Somervill and approximately 5 blocks from my studio. And using this firing to get to know the kiln again doesn't mean this load is 'disposable' by any means. I'm confident of the firing, but just need a reminder on what the glazes are here and what they do. I'll make new ones from time to time, but there's a nice range here and they always look different kiln to kiln. Having a couple hundred bowls to sample glaze combos and decorating techniques on is a nice warm up to be sure.

So along with the week of frantic throwing at my studio, Thursday was a day of glazing and loading, with the finish up on Friday and firing today. Friday was also cleaning day at Odyssey - cleaning the school side before the new class session begins. And my last as a Resident - although we did confirm that this group of Residents, that I've been so happy to be a part of, will have a group show in the Odyssey gallery in November during Stroll...

As for today, rather than trying jump back and forth from here to my studio to throw in what's probably still a pretty toasty space, I decided to relax and enjoy the rhythym of the firing. Oh, and do some web research on marketing, work on class schedules, outline a holiday show, research submission dates for shows and calls for entry, work on brochures and cards, look up some glaze recipes and read from the stack of old Clay Times in Laura's studio. You know, relaxing stuff. At one point I even took a nap, waking to the site of the newly winterized ceiling in Laura's garage studio:

kind of like brain matter from the Michelin Man...

And to get online, I take my camp chair to the end of the driveway and sit next to the jade tree so I can get the signal (yes, here in West Asheville, jade trees have wireless signals, but you knew that). Just sitting here, feeling the delicious breeze and listening to all the sounds of the neighborhood: dogs yapping, all the birds - I'm not very versed in this, but there are a couple of different chirpers, a 'wooooo-er'... and I think a chicken - neighbors calling across the lawn and then there's that breeze again. All the crazy busy will actually still be there waiting for me, but right now I think I'll just be happy hanging out with the jade tree. It's got some nice patterns on the trunk that are worth study...

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