Monday, 2 March 2015

Niklas Preukschat - February

February is over and I must say that it was very much characterized by getting everything ready for March. Winter lies in the past and the last couple of weeks gave us a glimpse of the action that’s waiting for us this spring. There will be two firings going on within a week and not long after that a bunch of German students are coming to stay with us for a month making pots, building and firing a kiln.

scallopshellflowers enjoying the sunshine

So what happened in February?

Well, first at all we were desperate to do some wood work otherwise we wouldn’t have dry, seasoned fire wood for when it’s needed. And trunks were waiting all winter long to get sawn, splitted and stacked… We certainly didn’t want to let them wait any longer.

our secret glaze ingredient: rat poison (not!)

Then after having that finished, we moved back into the workshop. There were plenty of empty glaze buckets which needed some fresh filling and clay had to be mixed to keep the supply fluent.

The third week blessed us with proper sunshine and temperatures were jumping up into the blue sky, 
giving us the opportunity to continue with: the compost toilet. Though still not finished, we managed to build the main frame around the toilet before rain was coming in again. Getting that finished will be a priority next month. We surely don’t want to disappoint the German students…

ARRR, treasure!

Another job regarding to that course was to get the base ready for their kiln they’ll build. There was still the floor that needed to be straightened which also meant that I had to shift soil and stones around it. But by doing that I exposed loads of well needed whole fire bricks, buried and preserved in there for years! What a pleasant surprise that was. And so it happened that a more or less unspectacular job turned into an exciting archeological hunt for treasure!

And some of those bricks found a new home in Nics’ kiln straight away! Under instruction of Nic I built a tunnel system in the fire box, allowing air getting underneath the ember bed to get a better control of how it’s burning down.

 I also did a general cleaning up in and around the kilns as well as cleaning kiln furniture and getting everything ready for the packing next week.

And all that happened in between my throwing time! ;-)
I really enjoyed throwing small stuff in series and seeing how the process was improving over the time.
And I spent some time on mixing my own slips. Testing them in the next firings makes me feel even more excited about the firings!

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