Sunday, 1 February 2015

Niklas Preukschat - January

So folks, January is over now which means it’s time for a first review.

shed for storing clay AND dogs. Perfect

As I mentioned earlier that month we were planning to go ahead with some outdoor reorganization. So we started with building a clay shed, which did go well due to mostly dry weather in the first couple of weeks. Having the shed built, we were able to move our pallets of clay out of their plastic covers into the dry. 

That left us just a perfect place for realising our idea of a compost toilet. And after tidying up a few pallets of kiln props and covering the ground with some proper gravel, we finally moved the toilet to its destination.
Our - litteraly - public toilet (not finished yet)

That was the point when some changes in the weather condition reached us.

So the project had to be paused and we followed the call of the workshops’ warmth. It was time to make some pots.

It can't be too long
And some pots we’ve made indeed, I can tell you. Everything started with a big, coiled dish which has been build in a mould made of sand. Though it looks more like a sandbox. However, under instruction of Nic I assisted him in making the coils he needed. So he showed me his way of doing it. A technique he’s also using for throwing large jars. Very impressive and after a short while I managed to roll some nice coils.
That is now two weeks ago and the dish is still drying.

After the dish was finished, Nic moved onto his wheel and I had a go with making some slabs for his slab bottles. On the basis of the smaller bottles Nic showed me how to join the slabs together. I have worked with slabs before but only on lower temperature. So by firing the clay on such a high temperature (around 1360°) and such a long time (4-5 days) the clay is much more likely to crack. So I had to be really, really cautious about how to join them. I hope they'll survive the firing…

And in-between the workshop adventure I managed to start taking down a small anagama type kiln which served well as a charcoal production facility but had to come down to make space for a new kiln, coming in spring.

after (still a bit messy)


And I fixed a hole in the arch of Nics’ kiln effected by half a brick which fell down during the last firing. I had to cut a hole into the 3” thick insulation to get the other half out and to fill the hole with some castable.


And I made loads of pots for myself in the afternoons, working on my skills and the shapes. But more on that next time.


Well, you see it’s been a busy but exciting month...

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