I participated in a community studio. All pottery must be marked, or it didn't go in the kiln. The owner would return after a week and there stuff would still be on the shelf. They usually remembered next time. This is especially important if some one puts low fire glaze into a cone 6 firing. Or even low fire clay in a cone 6 firing or something still damp in a bisque. If everyone knows whose fault it is that the entire kiln load was ruined, it is usually a one time event. Also, there was a master list with everyone's markings. So multiple people with initials "CP" had to add a number or something to identify each person. Non compliance wasn't an option. If you can't follow the rules, find another sand box.
Awhile back some post a question about alternative firing kiln. I can't fine the original thread. Below is a link to the face book page of Brandon Phillips. He is a potter building the kiln in Texas. You can follow along with the build.
I just unloaded my kiln yesterday. I took the advice previously posted here to place taller items in the bottom and tighter at the top. It fixed the uneven firing I was having. Witness cones on all three levels where the same. I have a digital controller, fired to cone 5 with a med ramp and 15 minute hold. Cone 5 was completely over with tip a little bent. This is perfect for my clay and glazes. Now the weird thing is I seem to be getting some reduction going on. I like the way it looks but not sure at this point if it is repeatable or controllable.
I used your instructions and built a photo booth. Actullay it isn't complete. I ordered the back drop material and light bulbs. I couldn't find any 5000K at the store. Even with 1600K my pots look so much better. Thank you for sharing so freely. You are a true inspiration.
The local farmers market is very small and as Schmism said, no frills. I popped open a table and put out some stuff. All functional wares and a couple of vases. First thing I do when I get there is grab some produce and display it on the bowls and dishes.
OK, thanks for all the info. I will preview shows this year for next year. All I have done so far is the local farmers market during the summer. I have sold out each time. (no booth fee!!) We will see how long that last. I'm only doing pottery part time now but looking at other options for in the future.
At the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia a room is hung salon-style with 19th Century British and European paintings. The display is immense, covering two facing walls hung floor-to-ceiling with the works of Delacroix, Ingres, Daumier, Henner, Meissonier, Millet and their contemporaries. The paintings are depictions of bucolic charm, the everyday realities of 19th Century pastoral life: farmers and their animals, their meadows and icons, and families - holy and otherwise - are seen in portraiture, picnic and tragedy. Sentimental human and natural condition stacked to the rafters.
In the middle of this room are back-to-back settees. These are what you bump into while picking up your jaw. Once seated, there's a laminated placard illustrated with a legend and list. "What am I looking at?" I mumbled the rainy afternoon of my discovery. I scanned the faces in front of me - of the birds and beasts, widows, farmers, virgins and workers - reviewing the breadth of what was revealed there. In all the drama and pathos and elegance, I felt a wistful longing to hold onto them - a panicked admiration for the subjects and for the artists' hands that delivered them to me.
A few months later, my big brother Dave took me to the performance of a personal hero of his - the master of industrial rock Trent Reznor and his project Nine Inch Nails. Amidst an otherworldly light display and a five-course meal of song, electro and guitar-craft, I once again let a peak aesthetic experience overtake me, and after the last encore I let it spit me out like a rack of well-gnawed bones.
Dave sighed, pocketing my earplugs. "I don't know whether to be completely inspired and get back to work, or to give up music altogether," he said. I told him I was familiar with this sensation. It's called doomspiration.
"Got it!" said Dave.
Here are the signs:
Pounding heart, shortness of breath, sweaty.
A feeling of unexplained longing.
Simultaneous melancholy for making things, and joy at the meaning of life.
Willingness to work, plus temporary unpleasant realism.
Emptiness and fullness.
Ecstasy, laughter, fantasy and fanaticism.
Urgency, lethargy, confusion, clarity.
How to move forward:
Try to make something you deem equally great, if only for a few moments, and remember you were moved and that's what art is for.
PS: "When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too." (Paulo Coelho)
"I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched." (Edgar Allan Poe)
Esoterica: The style of display known as a "Salon Hang" is named after the biannual student exhibitions held from the 18th Century onward at the Louvre's Salon Carré and the British Royal Academy. These exhibitions gained notoriety for the visual impact of tightly packed works of similar academic conventions. Salon Hang made things so competitive that Turner retouched his paintings after they'd been installed. Artists complained that their pictures had been "skied" - hung at the top and out of view - and Gainsborough was so offended he dropped out of Academy exhibitions in 1784.
Earthen ware can be a problem for plants. When I started in pottery it was with earthen ware. Low fire clays don't fully vitrify and are able so absorb liquids. If the pot is kept indoors this may not be a problem. The problems I saw were mold growing on the bottoms of pots where there was no glaze. This was indoors in a humid area. If you have a $50 or more orchid, you don't want the roots to be in a pot that you can't control the moisture and get moldy roots. The same with a $$ bonsai tree (what I was making pots for). Also, earthen ware clays will crack during a freeze. Maybe not the first time but eventually. If the pot cracks, the roots will dry out too quickly and your $$ bonsai tree can die. (experience speaks.) Also, some bonsai have to be watered every day, if the pot is sucking in the water, it is not available to the plant.
I do a lot of slip trailing with an applicator. If I want the slip to stand up firmly after I have sieved the slip I add a few drops of darvan and then add more ball clay, or some of the dried clay that I am throwing with till a thickened consistency. All the ball clay makes this a nice slippery slip.
Thanks for the kind words Paul. I did melt down this morn. Esp since this load was being fired for a second time. It is a new digital kiln with a huge learning curve. Not to mention I am now mixing my own glazes. Plus kids home again today due to snow. I turned the music on and pumped out 4o bowls. I feel better now.