Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Managed to sneak down to the workshop at 7.00 this morning before anyone missed me. The potential benefits of now having two teenagers in the house is beginning to dawn on me. Maternal duties now not required before about mid-day. Yay!

The batch of open cups emerged, blinking into the sunshine this morning. It is the first time that I have put porcelain slip on them. I really like my thatching reed glaze over porcelain, it softens it beautifully. The reed glaze over "Pete's red" is a rich brown, and I have used it to add accents, and to pull the two glazes together.

Still experimenting with the slip transfers that I bought in Shigaraki last summer with my host Tomoko. I am not too sure why, but they suck up glaze like a sponge, and despite smoothing and fettling they still cause the odd bald spot.

The smallish batch of a dozen tall cylinders have been slipped with porcelain, crank and a lovely chunky black clay slip. The black n chunky only fires upto 1260, so I am economically and judicially using it as a contrasting slip.

I had a quick poke about at the house next door, sadly no more laths, but lots of dumped roof beams that are riddled with woodworm and can be snapped by hand. Lots of quick energy there for my kiln; the next firing will only be my fourth with this particular wood fired kiln, so it is still a learning experience in not overcooking it. It still amazes me how personal and particular they are, it is only half of a transferrable skill, every one is different and has it's own rythmms and requirements.

I noticed today that the cowslips and primroses are finally managing to beat the onslaughts of marauding rabbits and are struggling into flower. The twisted willow of my fences are bursing with Spring like enthusiasm and are putting on a good show. Despite being almost below sea level the rain runs sraight through my workshop down to the Broad behind.

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