Thursday, April 7, 2016

Our First Firing In 2016

We unloaded the April 2 firing, watching the sunset on the beautiful pots we laid out on the tables. The kiln fired in 18 hours, a record time, due to the very active wind and to Bruce’s work with the drafts. Over a dozen potters were represented in the soda firing.
At around 2000 degrees, the door started to wheeze in and out, due to Clarence forgetting to secure the clamp, but that was soon resolved. The soda sprayer bit the dust, so we improvised. Katie, Cindy, and Maria watched the sunrise over the farm. Our new friends Corey and Aron also worked under the stars, and our youngest firebug, Tzuriel, who is thirteen, arrived at 2:00 in the morning and stayed till noon. Logan was a great help with wood cutting and wading.  As always, Bruce keeps us moving forward. Katie made some fantastic bread. We’ve had good luck escaping the rain so far, but Friday night and morning were fiercely windy and cold.
We experienced a glaze flaking on a few of the pots and wanted to note that flashing slip needs to be put on particularly thin. Katie got a really interesting result by dipping a cup in an ash glaze, washing it off, and dipping in Oribe. Maria’s boxes turned out wonderfully as you can see from the photo. Even Phillip’s tall pot survived the bag wall!
Here’s a list of the Bobtown potters and fire bugs who attended. The next firing is May 13. We always begin loading around noon on that Friday, so if you have some cone 10 bisque-ware you can come out and experiment with our glaze selection. We start the little campfire in the chimney around 6:00 and continue until late Saturday evening. You can always come to open studio any Saturday and work with cone 10 clay and glazes.

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Cindy Cusick
Katy Doherty
Maria Deter
Clarence Hayes
Philip Wiggs
Bruce Hoefer
Kelly Hoefer
James Bonta
Aron Beck
Cory Shultz
Molly Rolin
Noah Broomfield
Tzurial Watson
Logan Davis
Frank Jenkins and friends

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Open Studio Saturdays

After eight wood firings in 2014 and then a very cold winter, we were slow to get back on our feet. Thanks to the Berea Appalachian Fund, we were able to purchase new wheels. We immediately began offering open studio time for the many experienced potters in the area.
What is better than throwing a few pots with some new found friends on a late summer's morning? In two days it will be the first day of fall, and in two weeks we will do the first firing of the season.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Our Journey So Far

Perfect day for a firing

In August we completed our fifth firing.  Throughout the summer we have been experimenting with clays and glazes and decided to add soda to the last two firings with good results. Note Ron Deaver's stoking door which is made from a metal trash can lid with kaowool wired to the inside with nichrome wire. Over the open door you can see the waste vegetable oil reservoir. As soon as the kiln reaches red heat the step plate burners (see earlier post) can be placed in the two air intakes between the firebox and the ash pit. The kiln can be put in full reduction and the temp will still climb.  Just a note of caution here, you can easily climb too fast and over fire. In one of our first firings we melted cone 12 into a puddle almost before we realized it and ruined some nice pots. No doubt we were somewhere around c14.  Since then we have used WVO sparingly. We find that we can reach c12 in 24 hours on sawmill slabs alone. The first 8 hours are a gentle warm up and the next 16 hours we speed things up but the stoking is still pretty relaxed. When we add soda, we spray about 5 pounds, mixed with 2 gal. of  hot water sprayed in with a regular garden sprayer. The Bourry box is so efficient that we are thinking about another kiln to run completely on WVO.

Below is a storage jar by Philip Wiggs fired in this kiln.

This area has so many good potters. It has been great to get folks together for a community firing. Where else can you get together every six weeks or so and talk pots and life for two or three days. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

A New Year In Clay

"It's the bomb"

Wood and Oil
Minding the Fire

Community Firing
The Bobtown Potters sent sparks into the winter sky Saturday evening. The weather is not the only extreme here. From fifty degrees to zero to outside, and from zero to 2,400 degrees, the new kiln exceeded expectations. Bobtown Arts board members Philip Wiggs and Clarence Hayes, along with community potters Ron Deaver, Robbie Teasdale and Bruce Hoefer, withstood extreme cold to feed the firebox for thirty hours, adding the reclaimed waste oil to the wood. Anthony Wolking contributed fifty tea bowls to the 150 pots loaded into the Bourry Box kiln. We are waiting to unload the kiln, now cooling in the arctic air, but an initial peek was joyful.