I noticed that on the first day back, when I came in the house I felt soooooo relaxed!! I don't understand why it seems like after a firing, it's hard to get out there and start producing again. It doesn't make any sense because once I do get out there, it's such a release! I'm sure there's some deep explanation. Or maybe it's just that I'm not sure what to start out with and need to take some time to develop the direction I want to go in my mind.
So, what direction am I going in? Not completely sure, but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to try to make my next firing soda instead of salt. After seeing the results Scott was getting out of the little soda box kiln he built, I decided I want to see what my kiln will do. I've done a little reading about using soda instead of salt in the same kiln and I don't think it will be a problem. The kiln we fired at the Odyssey Center was utilized for both types of firings. The only problem I could foresee is that I don't have a lot of spraying ports. Only the 2 salt ports in the back. But my kiln's fairly small, so I don't think that will be an issue. I suppose I could spray into some of the spy holes, but I don't think I'll want to spray directly onto my witness cones. So, probably won't be doing that. I guess we'll see how the first firing comes out. I think Julie's going to put some of her work in to. It will be nice to fire with someone else so we can bounce ideas off of each other.
I need to come up with some more glazes too. And I should probably use some flashing slips. I'm not sure bare phoenix will be very interesting. I'm not going to do a lot of brushwork on these pots. I am trying to have some textures that I'm hoping will catch some flames and get some juiciness.
I've made a lot of cups and mugs and some wavy plates. Julie wants to have an exhibit at Bear's Mill that focuses on table wear this summer. So I've been trying to think along those lines. I made the plates so that the rim is actually a hand-hold on one side. Then I thought they could be used almost as a tray. You can put a cup or mug on one side and toast or a sandwich or some salad on the other side. I might call them "Soup and Sandwich" or "Tea and Toast." I think that nowadays people eat so many meals in the living room in front of the TV (I know that we usually do) and these are designed with that in mind.
The biggest problem will be figuring out the most efficient way to fire the plates. I was thinking of wadding a cup on each one, so it would be an obvious set, 'cos the wadding marks would match. But then I thought that people might like to mix and match them ('cos people LOVE to do that) and also, if I don't glaze the plate surface, it's really not going to be food-friendly. BUT if I DO glaze them, then I'm going to have to fire them all spread out on low shelves which hogs a lot of kiln space. We shall see.
I really need to find some good glaze recipes for soda firing AND find out what the specific gravity of the glaze needs to be so I don't bet some retina-burning bright blue (like I've been getting!)
The other thing that's been keeping me busy is exercising! (Wow, I had a heckuva time spelling that!) I have been feeling so out of shape and unhealthy! I kept looking for aerobics classes that were nearby and told Steve we needed to get the stationary bike from the kids' house. But I knew I wouldn't use it. So, finally we just joined the Y and we've been going 3 times a week for almost a month! And last week, we worked out 5 days! And I've been eating healthier and feeling so much better!
The really amazing part is that Steve is taking the Step Aerobics class with me!!! I would've never believed that if you told me it would happen!! I chided him into trying it with me a couple weeks ago but I thought he'd last about 10 minutes and then go work out in the weight room. But he actually is enjoying it and has gone every time!
I kept putting off joining the Y because it's on the other side of New Castle and I thought it would eat into my studio time. Well, it's really only about a 10 minute drive and even though it takes up most of the morning.......it's not like I was getting my lard butt out there first thing in the morning anyways. And now when I do go out, I have more energy and stamina and am pretty productive. So I think it's going to pay off in lots of ways!!
So, here are some pictures of what I've been working on.......