Thursday, August 30, 2012


Giant spider who was making its web
Yesterday I quipped on my Facebook page that perhaps I should charge more for the pots I make while surviving massive amounts of mosquito bites. Tonight's entertainment? Spiders.
Spiders at a particular distance? Pretty cool.
Spiders spinning and weaving a web? Pretty awesome.
Getting to watch a spider weave a web? Even better.
Spider bobbing up and down from the lamp over you and hanging about two inches behind your head and in front of your face while pulling handles? Not so cool. I appreciate Mother Nature, but not when I think the spider is going to land on me and make me one of the anchors for its web!
Needless to say, I gave the spider some space and moved to another location. So in honor of a friend of mine who once said "don't piss off the spider gods" I did not squish the spider and I made handles elsewhere.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Kiln Progress - Walls!

Walls on the kiln!
 As of late last week the walls are all up. We started cutting up the metal for the welding and began putting things together this evening. Wood is starting to get stacked up and dried out, and (hopefully!) things will continue progressing this week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Testing Slips and Decorations

Marbling in the bottom of a bowl
Ever since I first researched marbled decoration on red earthenwares in Southeastern Pennsylvania and watched a few demonstrations of how it is done, I have been itching to make a few. I decided since this first kiln firing will basically be a test firing to me, I'm testing a few new slips and decorations. The colors I used on these bowls are white and red, which could turn out white and brown, but under an ash glaze, I don't know what the results will be!
Marbled bowls

Marbled bowls
 And guess what?! Some of you may remember the ornaments I made last winter, well, I decided since Halloween candy is already out in stores, why not start on holiday decorations too? For my first test kiln I will be testing a few ornaments! The decoration on the one below may be hard to see, but I'm hoping there will be pretty blues!
Decorated ornament

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Robber Fly Visitor

 Having a studio on my porch has been interesting if anything just for the insect visitors I get to see on a daily basis. The mosquitoes are not so fun, but recently I was visited by a robber fly who had captured a small fly and spent a while hanging out on my drying pots.
If I understand it correctly, they are like parasitic wasps and inject their eggs into the other insect. When their eggs hatch the new robber flies will eat the fly from the inside out - disgusting but fascinating!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Kiln Building Progress

Walls on the kiln about 1/2 way up!
Things are starting to look a little more kiln-like out at Emmaus Farm! I have been balancing making pots with building the kiln in order to (hopefully) fire the kiln shortly after finishing the construction.Getting in from the heat in the afternoon has been helpful, but trying to drag myself back out in the evening to work has been a struggle!
Chimney getting tied in to the back of the kiln
The base for the chimney ate up some time. This whole thing is like a big game of Tetris, trying to figure out where to place a brick without having to cut too much, and how to level everything out. Once that was out of the way things have been rolling a little more smoothly.
Base for the chimney
I have been grateful to my other half and my family who have been helping me clean brick, finish the roof over the kiln, cut brick, and generally keep me partially sane. I would estimate that between moving brick and throwing clay I have been handling between 700 and 1,000 pounds of materials each day. I am officially exhausted! In other news, we had a big storm the other day here in Liberty that resulted in a gorgeous full double rainbow just across the street from our house! These photos don't do justice to how beautiful it was, and don't show the second rainbow quite as well.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Messy Details

Dusty shoes after cleaning brick
 Happy August! Building a kiln involves much more work than just throwing some bricks up (which I knew was never going to be the case)! Since my museum adventure hiatus was officially over the other week, I have been working hard to get the remaining brick cleaned (hence the dusty shoes), and get a roof over the kiln.It's always the small, messy details that make things seem to take much longer! Hopefully there will be walls and most of the chimney next week with a potential firing this month! Nothing like picking a hot month for a first kiln firing! Stay cool!
Nailing away on the purlins