Here’s some hors d’oeuvres from two firings at the end of the 2010 term. The firing in March was taken up almost entirely by chili bowls for the students’ end-of-the-year fundraiser at the School of Art open house. We had about 250 bowls for this firing plus the usual student work, so I raided some of the older silicon carbide gas kiln shelves to have enough. I had made some chili bowls with the students on the Saturday throwing party and got distracted making a few boards of Chawan (Tea Ceremony bowls) as well, and so those went in to this firing also along with some stoneware bottles I had made one morning when the studio was quiet.
The Chawan are all glazed with a variation of Shark Skin shino, which I call Great White shino: 80 Neph Sy, 20 EPK, 2 Soda Ash. It’s pretty subtle as shino-type glazes go, but it does some nice things if you pay attention. (Substitute salt for the soda ash, and you have Ian Currie’s Shino #2.)
This first Chawan has nice ‘rolling hills’ marks on the front. It was in the front set of shelves facing the firebox and there’s not much ash build-up on it at all save the almost-clear green glass near the bottom. I attribute this to the fact that we used Tamarack, fired efficiently, and that the white glaze is relatively indifferent to atmospheric effects.
On this second Chawan, you can see a little blushing from the clay underneath and some pinholing in the glaze that is just a hair away from crawling.
OK, now here’s a couple of images of a bowl with very interesting crawling that makes me think of a net stretched over the bowl or perhaps soap bubbles. I don’t like to associate a drinking vessel with soap, so it’s called ‘Net’.
The back side of “Net” showing a little skin and you can see more clearly the brush marks of the stoneware slip I applied. For those of you keeping score, it’s Schiller slip: 33 EPK, 33 Goldart, 33 OM4.
The foot-view of ‘Net’ shows the high velocity of this firing. There’s just about no flashing on the downwind side of the foot ring. You can also see the different glaze response from one side to the other.
Now for a few from the throat of the kiln. Pots from this area look very much like they were subjected to multi-day firings, though this one was just 33 hours.
These pots are thrown with minimal use of the rib, all in one go with about 5 pounds (2.2kg) of clay. It’s the same body used for the Chawan, but I wedge in some coarse local feldspar and sawdust to give the body a little texture. This second one was in the second tier of the firebox, so there’s more fine ash deposition and no ember line.
There’s a thin wash of a shino slip on these, but most of what you see here is the effects of ash and flame. The crusty ember line is quite evident on these, as is the area of intense reduction below it. Look for the subtle iron reds, blues, and charcoal gray.
Stay tuned later in the week for a short installment of pots fired with Poplar instead of Tamarack. The results are much more dramatic!