Sunday, 20 December 2015

Niklas Preukschat - November

November started with a week which I would, without a flicker of a doubt, call the busiest and most wearing of the year. As a warm-up (literally), we lit the fire in Nic’s kiln on Saturday 1st. It was the first time since March that we’ve done so in the big kiln. 

To begin with we were pretty much behind schedule but with three big, green dishes surrounded by varietys of jugs and jars in the front, it wasn’t in anybody’s interest to mess it up... Although it eventually happened that we did. But once you’ve heard it banging inside, there’s not a lot you can do about it. So we carried on and due to an absolutely splendid firing crew we didn’t let us drag down of that event and soon were back on track with our schedule. 

By Tuesday then, our last day of firing, I was ready to get my kiln packed. I probably could have rushed a little bit more and worked a bit longer, but I rather wanted to be properly prepared with everything and have an early start with my firing than to kick it off somewhere at midday. 
Me in the Tube

So, at Wednesday afternoon I was ready, the next morning could come. And it welcomed me with rain. I did get the fire started with an oil burner and switched over to wood as soon as the pots were dyed red by the flame. I mainly did it of necessity due to a lack of our precious wood and time but it was also a quite exciting experiment. The oil-wood mix worked out pretty well but I worked against a high-pressure deadline with Sabine’s’ firing the next day. So eventually, after a nonstop 17-hour shift, I closed the kiln up in the evening, knowing, that there would be some underfired pots coming out of it the next week…
ready to take off

everything got blurry after 17 hours

Having then done Sabine’s’ night shift I was ready for a day off watching the latest James Bond in cinema! And after a few more days of patience we finally took down the brickwork to see what mighty treasure was hiding behind it. Ohohohno! There were some absolute beauties in all of our kilns. But, as always with wood firing, we had to sacrifice a lot for it. Me even more with the under fired back of the kiln…
training the next generation

The days after that great meltdown we spent cleaning pots and documenting every chosen one on photograph and video. With only 4 days to go until the start of our online exhibition it was just another rush…And suddenly it was all over, Sabine set up the website and everything was going on line. What a strange feeling that was. All those hassle over the last weeks only to spent a quiet evening by the fire with the TV going and a look there and then into the e-mail account, waiting for the sales coming in. Hmmmmh and they came! In the end I think we were all quite pleased with the outcome of that project.
bracken ash on porcelain

Bovey Silver

But once more, there was no time to rest, our annual Christmas sale was lying only three weeks ahead. So back we went into the workshop for a whole week of throwing mugs, beaker, lidded jars, jugs, candlestick holders and oil lamps to have a good stock of pots. The week after we glazed everything, packed the kiln and fired it for the last time of the year. Oh dear!

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