Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Red Lodge Part 7

We loaded the Soda kiln around 5:30!
Hope to fire off by 4 or 5 tomorrow!
This kiln was built by none other than Matt Long. We'll let you know of the results!

Another gorgeous view from the studio!
We've all heard that Montana could use some more snow, and that the precipitation is down by 50%!
We hope that today helps!

Yes! Glaze those sugar and creamer sets! Everyone is chomping at the bit to
have one! I couldn't fire this Cone 10 Soda without a few glaze tests in the kiln load! The cabin mugs have versions of Weiser White in them. I've noticed that this Weiser White glaze looks like ALOT like Yellow Salt, but it's not so finicky, bubbling up around handles and in the bottoms of pots. So, I mixed tests with RIO, YIO, green nickle carbonate and copper carbonate as colorants.

Aside from glazing for the Soda Kiln, we've all got new pots in the works. These are trays I've been working on... Hope you like them!
Don't worry! We miss you, too!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Red Lodge Part 6: Beaver Dam

It was a beautiful day out here in Red Lodge, Montana, so I stepped out for an hour or so to go check out the beaver dam just down the road from the studio. Along the way I snapped a few pictures. I love old sheds, falling down or not. The passage of time, some mysteries and weathered material.

At the Beaver Lodge Fishing Access,
I didn't spot any beavers, but snapped a shot of their handiwork.

After my walk I trimmed the lids on some of the jars and made a few more with a 50/50 mix of the B-mix and Death Valley. Today I'll trim the bottoms and start spraying slips, and carving a few images into them. I'll try not to play too much, I do like the clean surface. But I usually can't resist that canvas!

Betty finished up some really great flower bricks.
I can't wait to see some of these in the soda and the wood fire!
More on that tonight or tomorrow!

I'll post again tonight when we get back from another productive day in the studio!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Red Lodge Part 5

What a great picture of Donn and Betty on day 3 of our drive!
That was...let's see...holy wow! We've been here for 2 Fridays, now!
We left PA on Saturday, March 13th, drove all the way to Rockford, Illinois, then the next day made it to Sturgis, SD, and arrived early Tuesday morning around 1:30 a.m. the 16th.
I can't believe it's been almost 2 weeks!

These are the new baskets for the cream and sugars!
Refine, Refine, Refine! Do you do that? Do you discover that one thing works better than another and go back and REMAKE the piece right away? It's a first for me. I usually say, "oh that works better than the other...huh... I'll remember it for the NEXT time." Of course, I forget!!! So, while I'm here at RedLodge, surrounded by such great work in the gallery and in the studio, I want to REMEMBER that it worked BEFORE I make 10 of the ones that didn't work.

Must be the elevation.

These 10" jars are made from 5 lbs B-mix and 1lb Death Valley, both Laguna products.
I've been adding the handles to the body as the forms are wet, right on the wheel. It seems to add to the shape of these jars. I sprinkle corn starch on the rim of the lid and I can fit the lid right away! The corn starch burns out in the bisque, but keeps the wet clay lid/pot from sticking to each other. This allows for the lid to conform to the slightly out of round shape of the pot.
It's a great technique for fitting odd or irregular shaped pieces!
I learned this from Betty, and she attributes it to Jim Brashear.
Until tomorrow!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Red Lodge Part 4

A view of Rock Creek behind the studio from a walk I took on Monday.

Some green peaking through the water.
A few pictures from the days events!
The 5 to 6" creamer and sugar sets aren't quite done, but here is a picture of them with colored and flashing slips. I made 3 more baskets today and will get handles on the new ones tomorrow.
I settled on a thinner rim for the baskets that seems to echo the rims of the pitchers and jars.
I like the set in the bottom right hand corner of the photo above,
though I'm still tweaking the handle!
These are the discoveries we get to make when we slow down a bit. It must be the elevation.
The 4 inch bottles will get trays too, made from the Death Valley dark stoneware.
See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Red Lodge Part 3

We are really getting into the swing of things. The last couple of days we've taken a slower start, getting out to the studio in the late morning, then taking a break from 5-7 (7-9 est),
then back at it for a couple more hours!
The residents are working diligently at photographing and cataloging our work for the show! They work hard to make this place run smooth! I will be featuring the resident artists
and their work later, here on the blog!
Above are 6 creamers I made to match the lidded coffee pitcher/Melitta sets that I showed yesterday.

Each creamer/sugar has a little basket. I'll put handles on the last 3 when we go back tonight!

A picture of Betty Hedman working on a Dresser/creamer. I hope to have pictures of the canister set shes working on! Very cool!

Here's Donn Hedman working on some of his basket vessel forms. Babu Porcelain handled vases with Laguna's Death Valley stoneware bases.

We took a drive up onto the plain above Red Lodge, called a "bench," and our gracious driver (Donn) allowed me to get out and snap this photo!
Until tomorrow!

Red Lodge Part 2

A view of the studio looking North East
We went up to the ski area and snow was on its way.
See you tomorrow!

Monday, March 22, 2010

From PA to MT!

Here we are! In Beautiful Montana! This is as far west as I've been and I can't explain how incredible these Mountains are! For those of you who don't know, I was invited to come to
Red Lodge Clay Center by Donn and Betty Hedman. We will be here until April 15th making work, and will have an exhibit of our work opening April 9th.
Don't worry, you won't have to come to Montana! The show will be available online!
We left PA loaded down with pots, pottery making tools, and all kind of other things on Saturday March 13th and arrived unscathed 3 days later.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota, day 3 of the drive.
We saw three National Parks/Monuments that day, and arrived in Red Lodge around
1:30 am Tuesday March 16th .
Devils Tower!
South West view of the Beartooth National Forest from the Red Lodge Clay Center studio,
6 miles out of town.
Lidded Coffee Pitcher with matching Melita!
I have always wanted to make these, and now I have 6 of them in the works. We'll load our first bisque this week and fire the soda kiln early next week!
Until next post, cheers!