Bisque Load Cooling on the Last Day of Summer

Summer is finally coming to an end in my hemisphere. As of 10:29pm local time this evening, summer will officially come to an end and autumn will have it’s go at things for 3 months. I really like autumn. It’s cooler, it’s time to clean things up and relax a bit. But not too much since winter is on the way next.

It also means lots of opportunities to sell pottery. I’m excited to have a few shows lined up and hopefully to get some time at the Farmers’ Market. Holiday purchases are always welcomed, and I haven’t had nearly enough time to make stuff for the season.

There is a bisque load in the final stages of cooling down in the studio this morning. It was at 185°F when I arrived. I’m looking forward to unloading this one and getting the glaze process going. I have a set of 8 mugs for an event with friends, a set of 8 plates for a request from another friend, and a bunch of other pieces that are the result of working on some new throwing skills. And a handful of pieces I made when family visited last month. So it’s a mix. Initial inspection of the kiln was promising in that the witness cones are nearly when they should be, and I didn’t see an shards on the top shelf or on the kiln floor. I’ll get to unload this afternoon.

For the glazing process, I’m going with fairly standard colors, nothing too experimental. I think there’s enough in this load for two glaze firings, so the second might be a first attempt at a controlled, slow cool-down. I’ve been reading a lot about controlling the cool-down to promote more dramatic cool through crystal maturation. Stephen Hill has several interesting articles out there about cool-down control, as well as single firing. I’m going to start with his recommendations for the cool-down programming. Single firing looks very interesting, but I’m not there yet.

Upcoming events around here include the “Japanesque Show” at The Overland Gallery. I have three entries for which I’m awaiting the ruling of the jurist. Fingers crossed. I’m looking forward to the show in any case since some of the initial submissions I’ve seen have been amazing. All media are included in this show. Check it out if you’re in the area.

UPDATE: 9/26/2014 – I received notice today that all three of my submissions were accepted into the Japanesque Show. It was an exciting day in the studio for me. I’ll post the photos soon, and notes on the upcoming glaze firing. 

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