Monday, September 26, 2011

Another Exciting Raku Workshop !

September Class
Ron, Elly, Mark, and Linda
What a day yesterday ! This was our third Raku workshop at Gets Centered Studio for Lee and I, and it is turning into a well-oiled machine. All was set up in 30 minutes or so, while the students trickled in, giving an hand here and there. Many thanks to Mark for helping Lee with taking her big horse trough kiln out of her truck!
This time, our host Elly decided to join in the fun, donning her student hat. Though she knew what she was doing, with her glazing already planned, and she had no qualms taking her pieces out of the kiln.
It was very gratifying to have the September class willing to try out more than the standard Raku glazes. Ron committed himself entirely to Naked Raku, experimenting with white bodies and colored slip bodies. Mark touched a bit of everything. His horsehair vessel turned out a real beauty ! Linda was fascinated with the choice of metallic glazes and made them her focus.
Our class picture tells it all. Look a their big grins ! So happy to take home quality pieces. Or maybe it was the Gin and Tonic Ron brought along for our end-of-day happy hour ???!!!!

Next and final workshop for 2011 will take place on November 13th. A special alternative firing workshop: horsehair and naked Raku only ! For more info go to Gets Centered Studio website:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

4th Annual San Diego Pottery Tour scheduled !

I am very excited to announce that the 4th annual San Diego Pottery Tour is now officially scheduled for December 3rd and 4th, 9am to 4pm on both days.

Originally organized by a few studios, SDPT expanded this year to 11 locations and over 20 ceramic artists. Established professional potters like the Cuzicks, Richard Burkett, Nan Coffin, and Eric Rempe are opening their home studios to the public. This is a unique opportunity to meet them and see where they work their magic. It is also a great opportunity to discover other local, and emerging artists, like myself!

So please mark your calendar for December 3rd and 4th. It is a self-guided tour of the wonderful world of local ceramics. It is free, and some of us potters are also excellent cooks and bakers. In case you need that extra incentive :)   

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Firing

Some of our work, cleaned up and waxed
Once again our dear friend Rose opened her home and her studio for a barrel firing. For our third firing, our little group welcomed Lee, another alternative firing enthusiast (and my regular Raku partner!). Lee was a well of information, gladly sharing her prepping tips, notably her recipe for her "no fuss terra sigillata". Under her direction, Rose, Myra, and Nancy chose the "baked potato" technique where pots are treated with copper sulfate and ferric chloride and wrapped up in aluminum foil with organic materials. The results are typically variations of light pink to orange to reds. I opted for newspaper wrapping, salt, copper sulfate/carbonate, and iron oxide treatment.
Watching us on that warm saturday afternoon, you'd think we were all old pros. Wood was separated in neat piles by sizes, along with pine needles and chemicals. Wares were all prepped in two hours. Loading barely took 30 minutes, alternating between kindling, pine needles, wares, and chemicals (iron oxide, copper carbonate, and salt). Firing was textbook, feeding it for an hour and a half, reaching 1500F at the top of the firing. We even managed to squeeze a refreshing swim in Rose's swimming pool.
Getting hypnotized by the dancing flames, while sipping wine or beer under the stars, was the highlight of my day. Orange, blue, green. The chemicals were working their magic. Until the fire died and hot coals covered our pots. Once the coals were a bit cooler, wet pine needles were poured on top followed by sawdust for a heavy reduction and slow cooling overnight. Probably the secret for some of the deep reds we get on our wares. Or was it the cheetos offerings Lee left for the kiln gods ???