Sunday, March 13, 2016

Exploring The Magical Soda Kiln: Vol III

With NCECA 2016 just a few days away, we had time for one last soda firing before the conference started and North On 71 opened.

But time was tight so we had to get things rolling immediately.

To add an extra wrinkle, Bob Schultz (our kiln-loading surgeon) was battling a post-travel head cold.  He just returned from attending the amazing Kate Horvat's thesis show Now THANKS, down in Arizona.  Even though Bob was probably operating at around 70%, he gave the loading of the kiln 100% of his attention.

Oh yeah, despite our best intentions, we still were loading the kiln in the dark......again......

Veronica Watkins grinding some of the schmootz off of the bricks so they could be used to build the door for the kiln.

Brick-by-brick the door goes up.

We also had Lauren Crawford, Tia Calkins, and Cassie Loran helping with the loading process.

The door is getting taller.....

We had time enough to light the pilot light and candle the kiln over night.  Bright and early the next morning Bob Schultz fired up the burners and the soda fire was underway.  It would be up to temperature and ready for the soda ash to be added around 10:30pm.

The kiln firing went off without a hitch.  We even added an OMEGA BURRITO to the firing process/sequence to make sure that anything that wasn't kicked up to eighty beforehand, did in fact, get kicked up to eighty!

Roughly 36 hours later it was time to dismantle the door.....

We try to document where the various ceramic goodies were positioned in the kiln so in case we have a certain result we wish to attempt to replicate, we know roughly where it was placed in the kiln.  Positioning and orientation in the kiln does affect the results.  Two identical cups with the same glaze can be placed in two different locations in the kiln and you will notice two distinctly different results.

Now let's see some of the results....

Cassie Loran.

Lauren Crawford.

Tia Calkins.

Veronica Watkins.

....and a close-up of one of mine.

Stay tuned for another artist profile and some more behind-the-scenes glimpses into the set-up of North On 71!

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