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woodfiring 2

updated sun 13 oct 02


Paul Herman on fri 11 oct 02

Good Evening,

96 boards of pots down there for me to glaze in the next week. It's more
than I have been accustomed to. There's nowhere to put them anymore, the
ware rack is full.

Hopefully the other committed potters are working their asses off like
mad too.

One of the good things about the woodkiln is that a lot of pots just get
a slop of glaze on the inside and then fired. I really like the way
smooth clays look. Like Porcelain. More effort goes into the firing
process, and less into fussy prefiring decoration. The effects of the
fire on clay are really fascinating. Porcelain with 5 or 10% red clay
added is a good one.

I mixed glazes today and threw a few last minute small pots, made Helmer
slip and some salt slips. Gotta make some blue stuff too, to sell. They
like blue because it is like the sky, and water, I think. Actually, I
like blue too... sometimes.

The kiln, demanding primadonna that she is, still needs attention, to
have all the old wads and ash swept out of her and chip out the
mouseholes, etc. The mouseholes go under the floor and come up into the
side stoking areas, supplying pre-heated air to the fires. I think they
work pretty well, but between firings you have to clean the slag out
with a hammer and chisel.

The pressure is building up, and I feel like I'm in a trance, all spaced
out. Like some thing bigger than me has taken over, and I'm just being
dragged along. This thing is hungry, for wood, and potential works of
art, devotees, sweat, blood, etc. I've created a monster, but a lovable
one. Why the hell do I do this? Any theories?

Lovin my own personal monster,


Paul Herman
Great Basin Pottery
423-725 Scott Road
Doyle, California 96109 US