Friday, April 29, 2011

Tel Hai Anagama

The firing started Wednesday afternoon,finished this morning around 10.The students stoked valiantly,the firing went well,much good food was cooked and eaten,there was a tremendous spirit around the kiln and we might be able to open it next Wednesday. A short film may follow if I can get it together after Shabbat.
Shabbat Shalom!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Teapots & Tools

The first time I tried to make these teapots they [both] cracked around the base either while drying or in the bisc firing- I shaved them too thin; but I like the shape,so made three more. They're a bit on the heavy side [classic over-compensation] this time; if they survive their bisc,they're destined for Meir's anagama in a month or so. There's a lot of fiddling around with these shapes- here's a selection of the tools I used while assembling them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More from the Kiln

Happy and [where appropriate] kosher Pesach!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Taste

Two of those curved forms

Almost a seder plate

Cookie jar [for kosher lePesach cookies]

Cut-lip jug with thumb-stop handle [2 1/2 ltrs]

Mortar & pestle- the last of the wooden ones I bought in Japan

Some of the new work- just a taste before Shabbat...


Just had Kochevet Bendavid in the studio,so you can visit her site [especially Shir and Yaara,if you're reading this].

Recycled Rabbit

A recycled rabbit from Holon. "Why?" you ask- but you merely reveal your ignorance of current trends in design. Everyone loved the chair structures,though,as much for their humor as for their practicality.
Kiln #2 is safely unloaded,and came out nicely,and #3 is loaded with the remaining pots,ready to fire,but it can sit for a while- I'll try to photograph some of the new work before I put it on the gallery shelves.

Up betimes yesterday and off to Tel Aviv with two bus-fuls of Tel Hai students for a day of museums and galleries. The Ceramic Biennale in Ramat Gan was full of intrepid and ingenious explorations of the ceramico-technological interface- a bit much,I felt,for many of our students,bless them,who look for rather more soul,passion and raw,untamed expressionism in their clay work.
We ended our day at the Holon Museum of Design,designed to be iconic by Ron Arad and nearly making it. There it is in the picture above,appropriately dwarfing the mere mortals who skuttle about beneath its mighty sand-dune-inspired iron bands.
The exhibit in the surprisingly small inner galleries was good fun- "Post Fossil",recycling meets design,a return to simplicity,let's use basic materials and processes,bake bread,make pottery. Good morning.
It seemed strangely symbolic to start with ceramic artists feverishly storming the bastions of design and technology,only to find the place deserted because all the designers are off taking pottery classes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What's Going On

It's a bright,sunny,crisp April afternoon; here's a stack of pots from the first glaze firing,awaiting sorting and pricing...

Meanwhile, kiln #2 has reached 700 degrees without major mishap,and I'm glazing the remaining bisced pots in readiness for kiln #3,which probably won't get fired 'til next week.

...while over here by the door there's an accumulation of bisced pots in a bewildering variety of clay mixes intended for the various wood kilns.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Good Wood

I was greeted on arriving at Tel Hai this morning by satisfyingly large stacks of nice-looking wood for the anagama firing [students started loading yesterday in between showers,and continued today]- the right length,clean, straight and split, not like the gnarled and/or monstrous pieces we usually seem to be dealing with. Firing scheduled for after Pesach [as are Sydney's and Meir's kilns- a wood-firing fiesta in store.]

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Nearly Done

Just that top left shelf to fill,plus some space at the back that you can't see. I'm hoping to make up some glaze tests to fill in odd spaces,and fire tomorrow.
I just learned that Stella Lahav has died- a wonderful Israeli potter; I always enjoyed her company and her playful,colorful,imaginative and well-constructed work. You can click on her name here to visit her site. She lives on in our memories and in the many pots she made.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Hidden Treasure

...and while on the subject [and on the same walk yesterday] here's another of Tsfat's [too] many overgrown and neglected treasures...
Meanwhile, rain has stopped play at the Tel Hai Anagama [loading was to have started today] but we'll see what tomorrow brings. I have just unloaded the 3rd and last bisc kiln in my studio and have glazed and loaded about half the eagerly-awaited first glaze kiln [ of two or three] maybe to be fired Thursday.

and here it is

Tsfat Gothic

Part of the same development,we hope this fine if derelict old building will be restored to its former glory.

Come All You Young Doctors

Wherever you be
Soon you can train in Tsfat
But don't expect a good salary
[Unless the doctors do better than the social workers in their struggle to wring a decent wage from our dear government.]
The long-awaited medical training facility seems finally to be lurching into action over the road from Helen's workplace. The large sign is balanced on two big stones,leaning against part of a wall and hidden behind a pile of branches and other trimmings,hardly auspicious from a feng shui perspective.