Thursday, June 26, 2008


Most of the time we tend to build a kiln and then load it. Sometimes this doesn't quite work out,so Keren [3rd year,Tel Hai],with sundry helpers, is loading her kiln around the pot. She was going to fire it today,but the weather was so hot that she would have to be slightly crazy- like me [I fired my gas kiln today,and probably lost a few kilos in good,honest potters' sweat]. I'm heading for a nice cold shower.
The kiln looks a bit like a wedding cake,or a stepped pyramid,or maybe the leaning tower of Pisa,or even the Tower of Babel,of which,we are informed by our sages [Sanhedrin], the top third was destroyed by fire,the bottom third sank into the ground,and the middle section was left standing and could still be seen in the days when the Gemara was written down 1500 years ago. I hope Keren's kiln fares better.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Like Bisc

Well,some people don't. I like the way it looks and feels and sounds,its softness and baby-like quality,its promise and potential, its fired/not fired ambiguity,its openness to change and choice. Some potters only fire once,and are usually convinced that Their Way is the Right Way. I beg to differ.

Bisc-Molded Dishes

If you want one,goes the old potters' adage,make two. Occasionally,both survive [the bisc]. These pieces are made from a rolled slab draped into a bisc mold I made many years ago,inspired by a workshop I attended at David Frith's studio in the U.K.

Calcined Zinc

Something we crystal-glazers get up to: the raw crystal-glaze layer needs to be thick [2-4mm.] and calcining the Zinc [firing to 900-odd degrees] prevents cracking,peeling,shedding and other undesirable and troublesome manifestations. I do it in bisced bowls at the bottom of the bisc kiln.

He's Back!

Son Benjamin,back for a visit after over a year in California. Already half the phone calls to the house are for him.


Late afternoon sunlight through the thistles growing out of the wall above our courtyard. Usually by this stage [mid-June] I have 4 or 5 kilns ready to glaze and fire in preparation for the Summer season; this year there's just one. I've been rather busy with another project,which also explains the dearth of blogging recently- so busy I didn't even get to Raanana for this week's Pottery Fair.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Throwing a Candlestick

The videos are coming thick and fast! Here's a candlestick- one of the trickier items to throw,since they are sold in pairs and are supposed to be more-or-less the same height. As I think I pointed out in a previous blog,I do this by throwing a bunch of them,and then making up pairs when they're leather-hard [numbering them on the base, then decorating them in pairs].


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Fettling a Small Bowl

For film fans. Not a lot of potting going on at the moment,therefore not a lot of blogging. Sales have been brisk,however,and gaps are beginning to appear on the shelves,so I suppose I'd better get back to work one of these days.