Welcome to my blog. I will attempt to make it much more than just a pitiful list of the relentlessly mundane minutiae of my daily existence but if you feel that I have failed try to imagine all the stuff that I haven't posted.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

You know what we should do?

Get out of it for a while. Get into the countryside. Rejuvenate.

Rejuvenate! I'm in a park and I'm practically dead. What good's the

.........it WAS cold, but once I'd got up against a radiator and covered myself in deep heat I started to recover.
It was a great weekend and I've come home with a car full of samples to test. The first photo is Grimley Andesite - well a stream full of it - and the second is a disused diorite quarry. Every view I look at now is stripped to the bare bones of its bedrock geology. When I close my eyes the stars I see are quartz phenocrysts. Maybe I've been out in the field too long........

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Where did staggering around in fields get me?

.......apart from muddy knees and frostbite? It got me the unexpected! A seam of gravelly sandy clay deposited by a glacier thousands of years ago. And what's better, the icing on the potters cake, si that unlike the gault and everything else I've found it ISN'T full of calcium carbonate and therefore useable. Time to get off my knees and start seiving.......

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Staggering around in fields

It's been a misty drizzly day today so I decided to spend it outside shuffling along the edges of fields on my hands an knees looking for half buried treasure. Potters treasure! As I sit here on the computer I'm chilled to the bones but feeling quite content. Very little in the treasure cache in my workshop but I think I've got access to a clay source that isn't contaminated with chalk (as the gault and other clays are).
My firing was a mixed bag but the positives are very strong. A couple of the materials I have found are stunning! What I'm actually going to do with them is another matter.........

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Tests for the maiden test kiln firing

The kiln is finally ready for its first firing. Three days sorting samples, crushing and grinding and weighing and I've a kiln load of tests. The first is a selection of various collected samples from near my home - just plain fuseability tests - and then a few quick simple line blends to try and see what these samples contain. It's all a long way from a pot but hopefully it's a first step up.

More tests tomorrow then firing on Tuesday. The kiln's only small (40 x 40 inside) so it'll probably go up like a rocket.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Nearly ready to go.

The test kiln is lined and nearly ready to go. Just the door to bolt on, pyro to insert and the burner to fix on. Oh yeah - plus find somewhere to put it. Now to start preparing my tests. for the first firing. I've been collecting rocks form various locations, so plenty of grinding coming up for fuseability tests and maybe some initial lineblends. It's actually far more exciting than it sounds!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Test kiln

Decided I needed a small gas test kiln to I can fire all my tests frequently and cheaply. This is the frame - I cheated this time and bought Dexion. My welding is pretty dodgy + it kind of freaks me out. Always waiting to be electrocuted or blinded. So this is a breeze. Its going to be lined with fibre - I made the cups in November out of crank, alumina and molochite. I'll put up more info as I go.

Monday, 3 January 2011

New Year

Starting as I mean to go on............

Immersing myself in beauty and soaking it up.