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.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

More lovely clay

What a beautiful spot! On my trip down to Devon I visited Doug, to see him of course, and to get my hands on some of the clay he has been talking about. This image is of the small stream running along the valley near his workshop.......and here is the clay.
It's lovely and plastic with very little residue in it, but a seeming medium to high iron content. My initial theory is that it is a contaminated clay deposit that had its origins in the decomposed granite of dartmoor as it lies roughly along the Sticklepath fault. After this I headed further up the fault line to the north Devon clay deposits (past the sadly closed Meeth deposit (which is for sale if anyone has a spare £550,000). The clays here have travelled some distance from their Dartmoor origins. The clay particles have been bashed around more in transport, are smaller and therefore very plastic. This is an exposed face showing about 6 different seams.
Let the tests begin.....

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Excellent firing!

After a couple of days grinding I've had the chance to look more carefully at the pieces that came out of the firing. It doesn't seem to have been quite as heavily reduced as previously (less carbon trapping in the body away from the firebox) but there was good consistent reduction throughout the kiln. I adapted a few of the glazes after the last firing and most of these worked very well - slightly less fluid, so less shine and more crystal growth with the ash. Still plenty of chun development too, which I'm very happy about. This first is from the front of the firebox. All Dartmoor materials with heavily textured surface. It has some fantastic colour variations on it. The blue is from a partial glaze developed from dartmoor granite that has reacted well with the ash deposits during the firing. The second is also from Dartmoor, a bit further back in the pack, and a very low silica glaze that reacts rather like a shino. When it fluxes it can produce beautiful blue/green drips. The third pot has the same glaze but was at right up at the front of the pack. It was buried in the embers for most of the firing and has some remarkable alumina pinks and a highly crystalline surface. The fourth piece was from the main chamber. It is glazed with a combination of glazes developed from three different igneous rocks that I collected from Galloway in Scotland. It was the first time I had put these glazes in a wood firing and they came out way above my expectations. Generally quite high in iron (intermediate rocks) but one of them produces a lovely subtle pale green.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Unpacking day

Went up to the kiln early to check the temp and found the lock forced on my shed and my chainsaw stolen. I was hoping that this was not an omen for the firing and.........it wasn't!!!!! Quite a few new glazes and clay bodies in there, so quite a high potential for disaster but as I sit here typing this I am very very happy. Some absolute stunners in there and some good results from new materials. This is glazed with blends of rocks from Galloway, when I visited Hannah. The granodiorite is pretty high in iron, hence the dark colours, but luckily I found another lower iron igneous rock to soften the tones. This next one is amazingly blue - it's such a pleasant surprise when that happens. Most of the failures were one particular glaze, which I developed from Haytor KSpar (that I painstakingly separated by hand) and suffered truly appalling melon skin. Will take photos + post. Now a goos few days of grinding and cataloging and photo taking. Will post more proper images when I have them.