Fresh From the Kiln

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What a spectacular day…lots of of kudos to the Kiln Gods…they did a great job.

Eight loads of raku and two batches of obvara to end the day. Would have done more but I ran out of fuel…so I might have been “out of gas” but I was honestly out of propane. I sit here very tired.

All this sets up the last loads later in the week. The next raku load will be the last until after STITCHES West.

Yesterday! But today…oh so slow…

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STITCHES West in Santa Clara is just a few weeks away. I’m not panicking…I’m in control…seriously…sure I am.

These pieces came out of firings yesterday…I did a number of pieces in obvara (the yarn bowl) and a load of pieces in their little saggars. The vase is one of the saggar pieces along with an array of other pieces…the shawl pins, brooches, yarn bowls, buttons and coasters. Pretty exciting day but I paid for it this morning as I tried to drag myself from the bed…successfully…but oh so slowly.

Getting Ready for STITCHES West

It’s coming up…February 19-22 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. (We’re booth #922). Lots of new things to exhibit…new colors…new techniques…new designs…new pieces to start with. We’re excited.

From today:

horsehair1-21-15 spindle1-21-15 obvara2-1-24-15 obvara1_1-21-15

Shawl pins…both small and large…and yes, that is a spindle whorl. We should have a few of those available.

Most of these pieces are done using a process called “obvara.” Stop by the booth and I can tell you exactly how it’s done…look it up on line and you’ll see how others approach it. Very rustic! Very one-of-a-kind! Well…they are “glazed” one at a time so they should be one of a kind right?!


Rubble…And I Don’t Mean Barney


Just one piece exploded in the kiln…all that rubble from one little piece. The round whorl in the middle of the picture was on top and got flipped upside down in the ruckus. These pieces are destined for obvara and saggar this next week. Going to be fun…and way less explosive :-)

Work Work Work


Everything is on track for a great show in Santa Clara at STITCHES West…February 19-22 at the Santa Clara Convention Center. We’re in booth 922.

I’m still working on new ideas for the show…I will be going down to the wire I’m sure.

…and as if I wasn’t busy enough, Knitting Universe announced a new show this morning. I’ll be there!


The Saggar Was Crazy Good

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When I put the little packets together, it’s almost like I’m crossing my fingers. The ole’ “wing and a prayer”…I just hope they work out.

I think I know what I want them to come out like, but sometimes when I unwrap the things at the end of the day I just sit there and stare at them for a while.

I am in love with this kiln load of stuff. Crazy good.

What Crazy Stuff

kilnblow1Normally I can bisque my work about a week after I form the piece. Those would apparently be Spring, Summer and Fall notions…cuz the firing from yesterday blew up…bits and pieces blown into the elements of the kiln even…pots collapsed onto others and crushed the pieces inside…HUGE mess. I haven’t had a piece blow up in years (decades perhaps). This means that I will be more careful I’m sure…but the other reality is that work in the studio will slow to a real crawl. Remember the size?


The studio is only 10 x 12 feet. In the warmer (and dryer) times I can sort of ooze outside a bit…but now that it’s wet, everything gets to stay inside. Can you imagine what my wife, Brenda, would say it I started moving things into the house to dry? I’m pretty sure it would not be, “HoHoHo.”

More crazy? You read yesterday that I thought the stench of burning hair and fur would be horrific this morning. It was not bad…it was horribly bad…FAR WORSE than I thought it would be. Let’s just hope that results are as dramatic as the “aroma.” We’ll see in a few hours.

Shiny Packages of Goodness

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This is what I did today…sort of. I prepped the yarn bowls and a bunch of shawl pins, buttons and brooches for a saggar firing tomorrow. I could have fired them today but I’ve got a test that I want to fire in the same load and those pieces are in the bisque kiln…unloading that in the morning.

Inside the packets are strategically placed strands of recycled violin bow hair, bison hair, alpaca…and various chemicals that force me to wear some protective gear. When the kiln is torched off tomorrow the smell will be horrific…I wish I could say smugly that “I love the smell of burning hair in the morning”…but I don’t.

So while ya’ll will have to wait a couple of weeks to open presents, I will be doing that tomorrow afternoon. Opening is really a lot of fun…but wrapping 150 pieces in tin foil does not even register on the fun meter.

SF Etsy Holiday Emporium – ’tis finished!


If it looks like the three of us are having fun…well we were. Of course it was early in the day :-)

The picture was taken by Darryl Kirchner of  Bloom Studios and features the little orange credit card reader installed on my phone…it’s an Etsy product. Very cool for Etsy shop owners.

So who are the folks in the picture…that’s Brenda, my wife, in the middle…flanked on her right by our daughter, Katy,…and me on Brenda’s left. I’m the one with the grey hair…okay, so maybe the hair is more white than grey.