According to this blog, I last fired my work a little less than two years ago — June 2015 — if you discount work that was fired for me at the Alfred University workshop in July 2015. Next week, I’ll be firing again, at the Morean Center for Clay, in St Petersburg, Fl. The firing will be part of a near three week trip that will include brief stops in South Carolina, two longer ones in Gainesville, Fl and about at week in St Pete.
If it seems strange that I have a studio in the Washington, DC area, but am driving close to 1000 miles to do a glaze firing, let me explain. Gas or wood-fired kilns, which I need for my glaze, as opposed to bisque*, firings, are a very rare commodity. They are found only in colleges or universities, private studios, or community studios. Non-students don’t have access to “academic” kilns; private studio potters pretty much never risk allowing others to use the equipment upon which their livelihood depends; and, community studios almost never allow non-members to fire their kilns. In fact, the only community studio in the US that I know of that rents out their kilns to experienced kiln firers is the Morean, toward which my car is pointed.
As my blog documents, I’ve fired a lot in the Morean’s lovely gas kiln. This firing will include 30 mugs, 4 pitchers and about 20 bowls. One of the bowls is very large, my largest ever, and I made it extra big using a throw and coil technique, whereby I throw an initial bowl and then enlarge it — out and up — by adding clay coils to the rim.
It will be great to smell gas again, knowing that finished pots are being birthed.
*bisque firings are the first of two pottery firings, and are done in an electric kiln. They typically heat to about 1800 degrees and partially harden the pots, which are still porous enough to accept glaze. The second, glaze-firing heats to about 2400 degrees and cures — if you will — the glazes.