Friday, November 04, 2005


Can I write here? There's been a slight technological update in Picassa,the (free and excellent) image handling program,hence recent slight glitches.All part of the creative fun.
Loaded dishes into bisc kiln this morning,having lit woodstove (last year's wood,nice and dry) downstairs,and parafin stove in the studio (this year's parafin,at this year's high prices),both for the first time this Autumn,in response to rain squalls that are starting to loosen the leaves on the vine;one dish had cracked over the foot-ring while drying,a reminder of 1)importance of throwing/fettling technique,2)importance of careful drying,3)transcience of all things,4)persistence of existence (as I break the dish up into the recycling bowl-that's it in pic #1,top left),5)mental preparation for more cracks/warps/surprises inevitably to come;this is porcelain,after all.The last picture (bottom row right) is sort-of a question to you (potters) and to myself-Is it O.K. to bisc this many dishes one inside the other?Years ago,after cracking problems with dinner-plates,I took to firing no more than three plates in a stack,whether as here or "boxed";maybe the time has come to review this practice- I fire biscs more slowly these days- particularly above 500 degs.,where I used to be inclined to bang the kiln on "full" 'til the end.We shall see.
We're reading the 2nd section of Bereshit/Genesis this week:I always have a slight sympathy with those guys building the Tower of Babel- 'one people with one language' (an admirable state,no?)- they've just dicovered how to fire bricks,and now they want to see what they can do with their new technology (you can obviously build a whole lot higher with fired brick than with the old sun-dried stuff,which must have been massively exciting).The craftsmen say,"let's start building a tower and see how for we can get"-then the politicians show up,and this great site-specific sculpture project goes seriously off the rails- I'm sure you've been there;I certainly have.On the other hand,Noach,the lone craftsman,builds his boat-sculpture (intended purely as a social protest/statement)to mass popular disinterest and scorn,takes years to get it right,and then,totally and rightfully vindicated,manages,with God's help,to survive using his craft (sic),surely a deep message to all of us.
Shabat Shalom! Posted by Picasa