Thursday 9 July 2009

A worried dog heads for the kiln

We got the dog seat into the kiln today. It took THREE of us. Rodger and I lifted it onto the trolley with the brown paper on top, by sliding it round on its own board to get our hands underneath. Allie held the board steady to stop it twisting round with it. Once on the trolley it was fairly straight forward to slide it into the kiln with the sand on the kiln shelf, one at either side and Allie pushing from behind. It was a bit tight with the door only just closing, but I prefer to say a perfect fit. In fact taking shrinkage into account it was precision mathematics actually. The dog looked a bit worried about his fate, but as long as I remembered to vent all the sections it should be alright. I just hope that where the seat overhangs his head it doesn't warp. Maybe I should have built in another support for the firing?
But what does SHE care?

I had the most lovely letter of appreciation from someone who bought some pieces at 'Earth and Fire'. It is rare to receive such a thing. I remember reading in Mary Wondrauch's book on slipware how she had a thin folder for them which she treasured. I shall treasure this one.

Unfortunately I also had a worrying correspondence from someone who had bought a mug which she described as 'sweating'on the base when she used it for tea. This was most alarming as I have used, and others have used, my mugs happily for years without any problems. I have pretty confidently narrowed it down to a small batch which was thrown from my red body but had traces of the Valentines black in it from the previous pug. I only noticed this when they were bisc fired and much darker. I shall be careful another time if I have used the pugmill for a different clay first, but if anyone out there has this problem let me know.


  1. Good luck with your worried dog, I hope he is well behaved in his snug little heated kennel, and emerges warm, tanned, firmer, slightly smaller, and with all his parts intact!

    You do terrific work which I would love one day to be able to see. It is exciting reading about someone working on the scale that you do, especially in these recessionary times, and inpires one to have the courage to work larger than tiny bowls and tea cups!

    I do hope the sweaty mug problem was just a one off. I get nervous about that sort of thing with the vases I sometimes make. Our clay here is rather open and sandy and one piece even perspired after cone 11 plus in reduction in my woodfired kiln. I should "go with the flow" and produce water filters! All the Best, P.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Peter, it is interesting to hear that you also have the occasional sweating problem, and at a higher temperature - it's a bit worrying when it happens but thankfully it sounds as though it is pretty rare. I don't think I would have embarked on large scale without the leg up of last year's grant, but now I've tried it I'm hooked. I shall have to see how the year goes, but it might still be back to eggcups next year!

  3. Hi,
    Did the dog survive?

    I wanted to let you know that I am collecting a master list of ceramics blogs, over at my blog (you can get to it through my profile. I added yours to the list, but if you get a chance, check it out and let me know if I missed any you know.
    Matt Katz