Monday, November 5, 2012

. . . and a pottery workshop.

Actually we attended a two-day demonstration, not a workshop, on the weekend.

Last week was hectic. When Ben logged on to the Red Lodge Clay Center website last weekend so we could ogle the latest pottery porn (lots of luscious pots) they had posted, he found out Mary Barringer was demonstrating her techniques of hand-building pots and putting clay slips and vitreous engobes (clay slips that become vitreous in the firing and, so, have a little sheen; which, according to some sources, is actually what our base glaze is) on the surface of her pots instead of glazes. Her work and her surface treatment are so different than ours that we decided we would like to see how she does it. The demo was great; it was fun and interesting to watch Mary’s techniques and hear her philosophy about pots and pot making. And it felt good to connect with some of our fellow pottery tribal members. Mary fires in an electric kiln to cone 6, which is a little under 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, like we do, so it gave us some ideas for certain kinds of decorative pots we have periodically worked on, even though the pots Mary makes are certainly not the kinds of pots we would ever make; and yet, of course, we love her pots. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take our camera, but you can see her work and a even a blurb on the demo if you Google Mary Barringer. We’ll post examples of what we try with some of what we learned at the demo, but that won’t be for a few weeks.

I’ll write more about the demo later, but Ben is baking an onion pie and I can’t concentrate.

Part of our justification for leaving when we’re so busy getting work done for Joyce/Dano Camp was that we would have the chance to deliver several box-loads of pots late Saturday afternoon, since the demo ended at 3:00 on Saturday and we didn’t have to be back until 10:00 on Sunday (with an extra hour because of the daylight savings time change). Since we didn’t yet have several box-loads of pots to deliver to Joyce, we had to scramble to get a few kiln-loads of pots glazed up before the weekend.

Along with that, I worked up recipes and mixed eight different samples of a revision of our base glaze. A few of them turned out fine, but one in particular looks like it will be a great choice with only a very minor alteration.

Just after we packed up the car late Friday, so we could head for Red Lodge at 6:00 Saturday morning, we got an e-mail note from Joyce’s cousin, Delia (who sells Dano Pottery in Nevada) asking when we could make a delivery to Butte. She’s waiting for some pots to do shows and has put in several special orders. So, this week, along with a larger experimental batch on our replacement glaze, we’ll be scrambling to get a few box-loads of pots to deliver to Butte next week.

And it’s all good; even though I’m anxious to get some other experiments and work started, we’re glad to have work that actually pays us now.




And there will be a lot more of this to come. It’s a good thing we love doing it.

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