Saturday, December 31, 2005

Shavua tov

Starting the week with wonderful potter Anna Carmi,visiting Safed for Shabbat Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 30, 2005

It's Nice to be a Prussian

Back after a couple of days at our annual (this was the ninth) pottery symposium at Tel Hai,with guest artista Leah Leitson from N.Carolina and Tjok Dessauvage from Belgium.I should probably put in some links to their undoubtedly wonderful sites-coming shortly.So,having recently replaced my test-kiln element,I ordered some more from Dudi Shtern,who maintains kilns built by the late,great Boaz BenDavid- a new spare for me,one for the test kiln in Tel Hai,which suffers considerable abuse from students and when last seen was festooned with sagging loops of element,and not long for this world;the third? a spare spare,of course! As I may have mentioned,both my parents were from Prussia,where Order flowed deep in the blood:West Prussia,to boot,so I didn't have a chance of escaping the Love of Order gene.One of our suppliers who had a stand at the symposium brought the elements up with him- and here they are. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Last one (or first one if you're reading down the page)

Notice,if you will,the background paper:it looks brown here,although it's really grey,confirming what the Japanese say- grey contains all colours! Also notice rare appearance of semi-professional photography set-up (backing paper,more lighting,tripod)- these tall cylinders seemed to call for a quiet,uninterrupted background to display their finery.On the whole,I still prefer the spontaneity of plonking the pots on the worktable and clicking away. Posted by Picasa

The same,only different

The new foot profile/stand technique was a partial success- quite a few pots popped right off their stands,with minimal grinding to be done- others ran more than I thought,filled their run-off troughs,and needed more attention.I'll know better next time (unless I forget). Posted by Picasa

From the Jaws of Defeat

Yet again,grave misgivings during firing (that reduction thing) proved groundless- there are a few signs of ruduction,but all the pots developed good crystals. Posted by Picasa

From yesterday's crystal kiln-#5

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Winter afternoon sunshine through the vine

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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Slump in production

Some slumped porcelain dishes drying out- kiln-fillers for forthcoming additional crystal firing Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

16 Sikhs from Birmingham

Sounds like the beginning of a folk-song,no?These august smiling folk graced our holy city yesterday,bringing their message of peace and reconciliation [from peaceful,reconciliated Birmingham],shared some evocative harmonium-and-tabla songs,and explained that the little sword that they must carry at all times is a sword of peace,which nevertheless causes them problems with airline security. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

From the Salt

An excellent kiln- reached cone 10-11 throughout,good and even salting,right amount of reduction- now all we have to do is make some appropriate pots.Front is last in a series I made over a year ago- this one came out best of them all.Back is a refire from Meir's anagama,considerably improved with nice ashy runs.Only 23 pots from the kiln- so straight away we started pondering a slightly larger kiln...anyone want to buy a small salt kiln? Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 12, 2005

Mick Casson

Today was Mick Casson's jahrzeit.He was one of the great British potters whose influence and personality helped me choose this wonderful profession,so it's fitting that Sydney and I fired our salt kiln last night,in his illustrious memory.If only one could get hold of a copy of his television series,"the Craft of the Potter",shown in the seventies,and since unavailable.I think the British Council might have a copy in their film lending library- must get in touch with them.The firing went very smoothly,and we hooked out well-salted rings,with cone 10 [1300 degrees} down in a couple of places.Tomorrow we hope to open the kiln- what surprises await? Meanwhile,after four crystal firings,I feel that I want to have another go before I put away the crystal glaze buckets,so am cranking out tall porcelain cylinders to test a new foot-trimming technique that,if it works,might eliminate the problem of running glaze sticking the footring to its pedestal.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

From firing#3

39cms diam,22cms high Posted by Picasa

Another look at dishes from #2 firing

Top left-26cms.diam,rest 20cms. Posted by Picasa

Potters!Keep clay off your sound system!

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From the Trashcan of Necessity

I'm doing quite a lot of photography for the blog,so decided to get serious with the lighting setup:neat,quick and disposable/recyclable diffusers [not v.efficient,but you can't have everything].From the same firm that provided the keep-clay-off-the-stereo volume control extension [see above]. Posted by Picasa