Sunday, September 09, 2007

More from Italy

But not much more.Come by the studio if you want the whole show [i.e. more pictures of doorways,houses,drain-covers and washing-lines].Today I picked the grapes- as I thought,a very modest crop,but interesting new growth patterns on the vine might hint at a larger crop next year. It being Shmita year in 3 days' time,next year's grapes become ownerless,and anyone who would like is invited to come and pick.Tomorrow promises a group mid-morning,so I might get back on the wheel briefly,but the next studio job is to rewire the electric kiln and get down to some crystal growing- 50 or so bisced porcelain pots wait patiently on the shelves,by now doubtless a bit dusty. It is also high time I got around to fixing the roof of the gas kiln,which sags and sheds its holding buttons at inopportune moments- usually into bowls at the height of firings,when the glaze is molten...
In fact,I was thinking of my gas kiln quite often while walking around Italian cities and checking out how they span walls with domes and arches. My kiln is a box,with ceramic fibre panels lashed to the flat metal roof by the aforementioned buttons- no lateral support for the roof-structurally not nice. The answer came to me after looking at Gaudi's amazing thin brick supporting arches in a book I bought in Eilat during the Jazz festival that preceeded Italy; I don't know if it will work,but I think I'm going to cut the new ceramic fibre board into 15cm strips the width of the kiln,then slice a shallow curve into each strip and sandwhich them together to form a sort of laminated arch.This,at least,is the current plan. I have no idea if it will work,but got quite excited when the idea popped into my head.Any potters out there tried it?


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