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Saturday 28 November 2015

Prayer for Kiln god and Fluxing god, and I forgot Crackle god!

I had lots of Christmas orders to fire, and this would be the last glaze-firing for them. Last Saturday, on the coldest day in this winter, I started the firing.


Top Shelf

Lower shelf

While I was glazing hard, Pearl the whippet had dinner from Topaz's dish!

The result was a mixed bag. White glaze and all tapirs came out beautifully. But all clear glazes didn't flux even though they were on the top shelf. It was apparent that the temperature didn't go high enough.

All three polar bears have already gone!

All except for the goofy one are in my shop now. 

All tapirs were sucessful. This is my OUT tray on Wednesday. Clients' names on papers under the works
I decided to do next firing on Wednesday when it was forecast up to 9C. We even moved the kiln to the hallway, because it was going to be the real last firing! I can't fail! My small kiln was very heavy. We had to lift only two steps to get it into the hallway, but I was not able to recover from fatigue until next lunch time!

The kiln in the hallway

It was carefully planned and we started the firing on at seven Wednesday morning. After 1100c the kiln was obviously slowing down, and about 1200c, it stopped! We noticed it soon, and restarted quickly, even so, it had lost 200c by the time the kiln was going again.

Lower shelf
In the end, after a very long firing, it had reached the temperature and firing went well. It was about ten at night. Late afternoon next day I was able to open the kiln. Thankfully all clear glazes fluxed so well. They are all shiny and smooth! But the whippets have no crackles. If you have seen my whippets before, they usually have crackles like veins. Crackling happens when the clay body and glaze shrink at different rates. But a good and important thing is that they are absolutely beautiful!

Top Shelf

Whippet available on my Etsy shop

So, that was my last glaze-firing for the 2015 orders. New orders for 2016 have already come in. Before next glaze-firing, new kiln elements will be fitted in. Luckily customers are happy with clear glazed whippets. I am not surprised, because they look stunning. I have posted two today, a few more will be posetd on Monday. I have several whippets available for my Etsy shop. I have listed three today. So do have a look if you are looking for a present for sighthound lovers! (But do be quick if you are interested! While I was typing this, one was sold on my Etsy shop!)

Today's posting - two whippets and two birds


Saturday 21 November 2015

Six porcelain spoons

Since the last post, I had had pesky flu. It was not very bad, but all parts of the body including head ached. I groaned a bit when I used staircase because my leg muscles ached. We were planning to make a business trip last weekend; that had to be cancelled. The end was a bit of fever, and it was my birthday, the day after the terrorist attack in Paris.

The first thing I have made when I almost recovered were six porcelain spoons. I made three spoons about ten days prior to the flu. They were for a glaze test. But I liked them a lot, and audience on Twitter, FB and IG like them, too. I thought I would make more as rehabilitation.

As I made them, I felt very reassuring and warm. Very soothing. I had thought about the feeling. And I thought that spoons are the symbols of love, nurture and healing. I realised that they were my response to the terrible tragedy in Paris. When Charlie Hedbo was attacked earlier this year, I felt anger. But this time, I felt numb by the meaningless violence and the grave consequence.

I wish I could be Flash Gordon to save the world. But I know I can't. So I do what I can do. These two are the glaze test pieces. The longer one is called Mike and the shorter one is Jane.

They are perfect for tea leaves.  

I had never thought about spoons symbolically before. Suddenly they have got my full attention. Life is strange.  


Monday 9 November 2015

Rabbit Girl, the biggest ever!

I woke up about eight, had breakfast in bed, and dozed off until ten this morning. Yes, it is Monday morning. You might feel jealous, but don't. I had a full working Sunday, preparing for glaze-firing until nine at night and admin work after that until ten. My back aches from all work I have done recently. I have had a problem sleeping because of that. So it was nice to be in the bed a bit longer,

But, of course, I had to get up and plug the kiln! I am an artist working with ceramics. Otherwise I would have stayed in the bed until lunch time. 

Rabbit Girl is in my shop. She is the largest Rabbit Girl ever. Some of you know that I have special feeling about white rabbits. I could see myself as one of them. So I have lots of rabbit themed works. To Japanese white rabbits have symbolic meaning. After all, it is one of characters appears in the Japanese myth.  

Rabbit Girl

She is a girl in a rabbit body. She used to be a girl. She wished to be a white rabbit because she loved her pet rabbit so much. She wanted to be always with him. Her wish was granted. 

Rabbit Girl

Saturday 7 November 2015

In the studio in November.

The kiln started this morning. A few hours later than expected. One of Tiny baby tapirs fell and got an ear injury!  He was rushed in to A&E, but got in the kiln just before ten.

I have been busy working for the bisque firing for last three weeks. This is the last bisque firing for Christmas orders. I hope you will find what you are waiting for if you have placed orders.

Kiln shelfie - Lower shelf has tapirs for waiting lists as well as orders. A few should have a debut in my Etsy shop. Lots of whippets in various sizes, polar bears a little birds.

Middle shelf has porcelain spoons for tea leaves and parts for sculptures and four salamander brooches on commission. 

The top shelf has vessels on commission, rabbits, whippets and a spoon! 

I would love to fire more often, but I try to be eco friendly and patient. So I will try to fill it when deadlines are not looming. Here are some photos of work in progress before they were bisque fired. 
Tapirs come in three sizes.  

But whippets come in various sizes! 

In the UK, There is a TV program about competition for throwing pots. Here is mine. I seldom do, unless I have orders. A porcelain bowl.   

After drying enough, turning the bottom. I hate post with rough bottom.  

I might do the second turning, if the bottom is a bit soft. 

They have become bone dry for bisque firing. 

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Hello November! It is my birth month, and I prefer it to October because I have already given up seeing sunshine so I could focus on my work! :D Last month we had had no sunshine for more than a week. I kept saying ' There is no such a thing as the sun, it was dream'. Guess what? I felt better because I didn't have to get disappointed every morning when I saw the window. If you suffer at this time of year, as I do,  you could give up hope all together, and say this! :D

This, of course, reminds me of the Green witch in Narnia. C. S. Lewis re-told some stories of the Bible in the books. I felt, because of that, some parts of the story didn't flow as much as other parts. Still, they are my most favourite stories.

The Medieval Lady went to a lovely lady, who I have known on Twitter for a long time, and also met, with her also lovely daughter, at PV in one of my exhibitions. I hope they live for a long time together in happiness! One day I would make a few different characters from the Middle Ages.

Medieval lady - Eleanor of Aquitaine - Sold

I work steadily everyday, including weekends. It is easier for me to work through than to stop and start again. Mike has been very busy over the last few weeks; he has cleared part of the garden, prepared a site for a greenhouse. And he moved it by himself without instructions! It is all for the extension, which will be my studio. Without him, who could do all this work! (Not me!) So he spent all weekends in the garden, I in my studio,