Sunday, February 20, 2011

glaze refiring.....

Well, the results are in......

The re-firing went pretty well. I was not even sure if you could refire pieces so I am thrilled that we even have finished pieces of pottery. I love pottery because it is always a learning experience. Most potters, I think, would argue that there are few to no 'master' potters. It is a discipline, art, craft that reinforces humility, even for those who have worked with clay longer than I have been alive.

Once again I am in awe and fascinated at the change that fire and heat bring out during the glaze firing. In the previous post I shared a picture of the pieces with the dry glazes on them. I wish I would have done pictures of individuals pieces so you could see the transformation. I learned a lot from this first firing and re-firing. I have some fun ideas for more things to attempt in the next round of wares.

The one bummer from the re-firing was that the Teal Blue glaze got overfired. Every piece with Teal Blue turned tar black. I was really excited for a mug I made for my friend Chris but Teal Blue was the main color. I am still proud of it and going to give it to him, but hopefully can do something similar to it with a better turn out of the Teal Blue.

My two favorite pieces are a butterbell with Amber as the underglaze and Cream Rust as the overglaze and a honey jar with the Amber glaze. These two pieces alone are worth all the time, money and energy I've put into all of this.

As of right now I am planning on taking a hiatus from pottery until my wrists get better. I am not thrilled with this but know that I need to be serious about getting better. If you think of it, please pray for grace, wisdom and healing. Thanks. Stay tuned for more fun pottery putterings with Poetree. Love!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

glazing pics and video

One beautiful thing about pottery is it requires you to slow down and do things well. Or at least if you want the best results. This is definitely true of glaze mixing and application. For our first round of glazing we have chosen four glazes from Bill Van Gilder's 'Wheel Thrown Pottery' book. The glazes are all cone 6. I used these glazes at my dad's back in May when I did my first glaze firing.

We decided to go the make your own glaze route because it is definitely the less expensive route. I do not really understand the chemistry of glazes but the mixing of it is a lot like baking. Each glaze recipe lists the main ingredients, which add up to 100%, with colorants in addition. We decided to make some big batches because we intend to use these glazes often.

I made a video that demonstrates the basic glaze application process but it is too big to upload. So you get the short verson. If nothing else it is entertaining.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

First Bisque firing

Well, we did it! We did our first bisque firing last night. It took about 9 hours and everything 'made it.' We hope to do the glaze firing next week sometime. We actually have enough for 2 glaze firings! The kiln fired beautifully. I stayed up most of the night but the kiln sitter shut things down around 4:30am this morning. There are few things we will tweek, but overall I am impressed with how well things went.

If you are on facebook you can see photos here.

'You have no equal' and 'Beatitudes'

My apologies for falling behind with the homilies. In an attempt to get 'caught up' I am going to post the last two in one entry. They are short anyway.

'You have no equal' January 16th.

Readings: Isaiah 49:1-7, Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9; John 1:29-42

'You have no equal,' says the Psalmist to God. He seems so caught up in God's mercy that his short verses of song almost interrupt one another. 'How much you have done, Yahweh, my God-your wonders, yours plans for us-you have no equal."
What a statement and how true it is! There is no one like God. No one is as worthy. No one is as merciful, loving and patient. David, Isaiah, John and Paul all declare God alone is worthy. He gives every gift we need, he spoke of Jesus and revealed him as the Lamb of God-your wonders, your plans for us-you have no equal!.
This we must cling to. In trial, fear, boredom, temptation-Yahweh is unlike any other. David goes on to say: "You, Yahweh, have not withheld your tenderness from me; your faithful and steadfast love will always guard me."
Praise God, he has not withheld his tenderness from us. His faithful and steadfast love is always with us.


"Beatitudes" January 30th.

Readings: Micah 6:1-8, Psalm 15; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; Matthew 5:1-12.

Jesus went about proclaiming the good news of the kingdom. What is the good news of the kingdom? Look at Matthew 5:1-12. The good news is:

-The poor in spirit are blessed with the kingdom, not the wealthy and powerful.
-The gentle/meek inherit the earth, not the strong and proud.
-Those who mourn are comforted not forgotten.
-Those who hunger and thirst for uprightness will be filled, not the glutons.
-Those who are merciful will be shown mercy and no longer taken advantage of by the merciless.
-Those who are pure in heart will see God, not the ritually pure and self-righteous.
-Those who are peacemakers won't be silenced or outcast, they will be recognized as true children of God.
-Those who are persecuted receive the kingdom not the persecuting oppressors.
-Those who are slandered, persecuted, mistreated will rejoice in their great reward.

The way things seem to be are not real or lasting. The powers that be keep a good illusion and show but they will be exposed and humbled. God's kingdom alone is eternal. He is for the poor in spirit, weak, mournful, broken and desparate ones who long for truth, peace and justice-for his kingdom. Even in persecution and trials there is hope. The rule, domain, dominion-Kingdom of God is ours. This is good news indeed! The kingdom is here already but not fully. The kingdom is within, around and at hand. One day all will be as our Father wants. But even now we ask for the kingdom to come more fully in our weak bodies and lives.