Welcome! I've set up this blog to show the process of creating 12 custom 5-piece place settings out of stoneware clay. I will do my best to stay fairly current with what is happening in my studio. Please stop by often to see the progress!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It's stacking up!

Here's what I've got to ship out this week: 6 tan salad plates and 3 green bowls and 3 green dinnerplates. My customer has been oh-so patient, so I'm not going to hold out on her 'til I have all the bowls and dinnerplates done. I'll fit some more in when I fire up the kiln with a glaze load on Thursday (I've got bisque going now)-- so maybe there will be a surprise or two. This picture has a bit of a pinkish cast, so not the best representation of the colors, but I need to press on with other matters. The count is now 36 DONE!

Monday, July 26, 2010

As promised...

I've been firing like mad! Waiting for the kiln to cool right now (must confess I did peek)-- and I'll be sending a shipment off to my customer later this week! I'll post a pic before I do.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New kiln elements installed...

On a sunny and beautiful Saturday in July, I was successful in getting my CH into my studio to replace all the kiln elements. Sometimes he'll just replace one (of 6) but this was a total redo. As you can see from the picture at left, some of the elements were sagging and coming out of their grooves. The most frequent element replaced is the top one, as shown. You know how hard it is for me not to peek, just a little bit, when I'm waiting for the load to cool after a glaze firing. Well, that particular practice wreaks havoc on the elements over time and sagging is the result. A total redo was necessary this time, however, as the coils weren't heating efficiently and then "hot" and "cold" spots develop in the kiln. When that happens it's necessary to get the kiln back into balance for even firing.

In the picture at right, you can see how CH has to pull all the coils out of their grooves in order to replace with the new ones. It took a good chunk of time and then after they were in we encountered a problem with the kiln sitter, which holds the cone, and allows the kiln to shut off when it's reached the desired temperature. Even though CH suggested I ought to get pictures at the beginning of the process while he was still cheerful, he maintained a sunny disposition throughout the entire process for which I'm very grateful. It's the one part of this whole darn business that I don't care to learn anything about. :)

So I'm running a test firing now to make sure we're cooking on all cylinders, and if all's well I'll be firing like mad this week!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Ace is the place!

Just made a HUGE bubblewrap haul at one of my friendly local merchants. Thank you Ace Hardware!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just flying through to say...

ye old kiln was loaded last night with glazed pieces and I began the firing process at 5:00 am this morn. The load contains, among other things, some green bowls and some more plates, both dinner and salad. I like to squeeze pieces in where I can among other custom orders and just stuff so that I maximize space and electricity usage. When I have another group of pieces to send to my customer, off it will go.

This weekend I think it's time to lasso my Cheerful Helper and haul him down to my studio to replace some kiln elements. Some are really beginning to sag and are less efficient. I'll post more on that.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The result!

The mugs are done and ready for packing. Because of the holiday they will be shipped out via UPS on Tuesday morning. On to glazing the bowls!