Monday, July 14, 2014

Congratulations - Peyton & Rachelle

Susan conducting the marriage of Peyton and Rachelle
Something wonderful happened in Washington, DC, Saturday night - bet you don't hear that too often!  I watched my wife, Susan, conduct the marriage of our oldest son, Peyton, and his long-time girl friend, Rachelle.  It was a beautiful service - very different and very unique, but classy and memorable.  I did have a small part in the wedding.  They did not want the traditional bride and groom figures on the wedding cake and had asked me to make some face jugs that looked like them to use instead.  So, . . . I worked at it and gave them a few to consider, but told them that I felt bad because it really is hard to make any kind of female face jug that looks flattering!  They seemed to like the final products, anyway, including the very small jug I made to represent their dog.
One set of Groom and Bride jugs with dog
Crepe Wedding Cake with the jugs
Since my last post, a lot has happened - the end of the school year, a Pig-Picking for Peyton and Rachelle, a show with my pottery buddy Danny for the Halifax Arts Council, and all my pottery efforts being "in-house" because I have not been able to get to the studio.  This last part has really pushed me to grow more as I learn more about using my kiln and glazing with cone 5/6 glazes.  I had started out using Amaco Potter's Choice glazes, which work well.  But, this time, I bought some Coyote glazes to try and was very pleased with the results.  One of them is so close to the cone 10 Turquoise glaze we use at Dan Finch's that I think I will be able to replace a defective lid on a casserole with almost a perfect match!

The show for the Halifax Arts Council, a "Sip and See" held at their center in Roanoke Rapids, was successful in a number of ways, but, most importantly, almost every piece of mine had been made, fired, and glazed in my own shop at home.  It was validating to know that, even though I miss the weekly camaraderie of the studio and the learning input of working around others, I could be completely self-sufficient in keeping up my inventory, if need be.

Table at Sip and See
Table at Sip and See 2
What I have liked about these cone 5 and 6 glazes is that I can get close to a reduction look with the electric kiln.  After reading an article about the logic of lengthening the glazing time and, more importantly, slowing down the cooling time to mimic how a gas reduction kiln works, I have decided that the next load will take about an extra eight hours to fire.  Below is a few samples from the last firing.  These are using Coyote brand Mottled Blue, Pistachio Shino, Matte Green, and Eggshell glazes, as well as Amaco Potter's Choice Firebrick and Salt Buff glazes.

Mottled Blue with Salt Buff carvings

Matte Green

Pistachio Shino

Pistachio Shino center with Salt Buff rim

Matte Green, Mottled Blue, Firebrick, Pistachio Shino bases with Eggshell top
A final note - my inventory of face jugs has been depleted due to the demand for these pieces at Riverside Mill in Weldon.  So, I have started rebuilding the inventory and am adding more of the "animal themed" face jugs.  These have sold well at Riverside and at the last couple of shows I have done.  When Susan saw the lion jug I had just worked on, she immediately suggested "Wizard of Oz" jugs!  Maybe I will give that a try! If you have any suggestions for pottery ideas, send me an email and let me know.


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