Friday, February 29, 2008

From the Salt

Here's the haul. The kiln fired evenly,and got evenly salted-what more can you ask? We were fooled for a while by that lyin' pyrometer [more than 200 degrees off] until I peered into the kiln at supposedly 1080 and realised [from the violet after-image] that the real temp was much higher. Only needing 4 1/2 kilos of salt was a major step forward- all the books say that well-broken-in salt kilns need less salt,so I guess that's what we've got. Right on cue,the door finally broke into many small pieces [we have a new one cast and ready to fire in Sydney's glaze kiln].
Anagama update: Rav Meir intends to start loading his beautiful new kiln next Wednesday,and start firing around the 17th.
Shabbat Shalom!

More Signs of Spring

Almond blossom,with Mount Meron as background.

Spring in the Air

A mild,sunny March morning,tourists in the studio [I sold some cups from Wednesday's salt kiln,always gratifying] and suddenly [for a tortoise] our hibernating house reptile Katyusha appeared,looking slightly larger than when we last saw her/him,and quite sprightly after a serious shluff. Helen is delighted and is rustling up some lettuce leaves in celebration and welcome.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Salt

Another wonderful day with Sydney loading and firing the salt kiln. The firing went remarkably quickly [8 hrs] and the first test-ring we drew after a scant 4 1/2 kilos of salt looked thoroughly coated [a reminder: we started with 12 kilos of salt per firing].
First picture is from the Rosenstone garden.Next comes a shot taken just after we turned the kiln off ,showing an un-pulled test ring,cones 7,8,9 and 10 [still standing] with some shot-glasses in the background.Last picture is a shot-glass that seems to have tipped slightly in the firing,but managed to remain upright.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Kutani Ware

A five-colour Kutani ware incense holder caught basking in a late-afternoon rainbow in the kitchen.Shabbat Shalom!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And,to Conclude...

The last one is a model of a proposed lighting installation some 20 meters square,though whether this is interior design or acerbic political comment remains,for the time being,unclear.

cont [2]


Here Come the Rest

Day 2 of Crit: first up- the second year

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yet More

Tomorrow we shall see what the second and third years have been up to. As I left Tel Hai this afternoon they were busy unloading a gas kiln...
Thank you Lorna from Oz and Pitter the Potter [King of the Red Glaze] for your anniversary wishes- much appreciated!

More Students' Work

Tel Hai- First Semester Critique

Another exhausting day of critique- somehow much more tiring than teaching. Some nice pots,quite a few underachieving students- but this is the first year,and many of them are only now getting the hang of how things work.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Now We Are Three

It's the blog's third anniversary. I'm still enjoying writing it,so I guess I'll continue for a while. I think I mentioned Moshe Tov's White Donkey Khan round the corner: he's started Serious Digging,an inevitable early stage in getting to grips with these amazing old properties,which,rather like classical psychoanalysis,invariably uncovers all kinds of buried things- in this case,some more rooms.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


My good neighbour Shani held a house-warming get-together this morning to celebrate the nearly-finishing of their building [it never finishes]. Here's a sink of mine that he set up for hand-washing.


Small ones,from a friend's tree,awaiting pickling.

The Works

Here's the whole kilnfull- 86 pots in all, average price around 60/70 shekels. If you can fire two of those a month [and sell an appropriate amount] you have yourself a profession. Simple,eh?

Nice Bottom

Results of yesterday's glaze firing: not a bad firing,given the state of the kiln. The previous 2 have been top-hot,so,in classic fashion [for me] I overcompensated and got a rare kiln where the bottom shelf had the best reduction [see pic] and was half a cone hotter than the top.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Last Pot in the Last Spot

It's that long porcelain bud-vase on the bottom right,perched precariously on the low bagwall- literally the last pot of the current batch,so I couldn't leave it out,even if it meant repacking the kiln. I just finished slipping the remaining pots and loaded them into the lit kiln to dry [50 degrees].As you can see,it was a tight squeeze. I guess I'd better take another look at the stack on Sunday,prior to firing the bisc-those porcelain buds are heading for Meir's anagama at Purim,so there's still time to fire them in the next bisc.Shabbat Shalom.