Monday, May 17, 2010

Weekend wood-firing

I spent the past weekend attending a wood-fire workshop at fellow guild member and friend Bill Perrine's house. Bill is what you would call a real wood firing fanatic. He loves his kiln (he built it himself), he loves the whole process, the chemistry, the science of it all, the wood, the smoke, the ash.... he get's rather giddy about the whole thing and his enthusiasm is quite contagious.

Every one had a chance to glaze some pieces for the firing. The photo above shows some people applying wadding to the bottom of the pots. This is a necessary step to prevent the pots from fusing to the kiln shelves.

Above is Bill talking lovingly about his pyrometric cones. ;) Cones are used in firing to indicate how much heat-energy the pots in the kiln have absorbed. They are placed in several different places throughout the kiln and can be observed during the firing. The temperature throughout the kiln can vary quite a bit so the cones can let you know just where things are at in the front or the back of the kiln.

And here is Bill feeding the fire.

And feeding the fire some more... it's a big job, this wood-firing business. And I was pretty slackery in helping out... so..... I spent most of my time hanging out inside with Bill's wife, MaryAnn. Many of you probably know her as macarroll on Etsy. She is a clay bead-maker. I will blame her for the fact that I didn't help out much with the wood-firing. I mean, get two bead-freak people together and nothing else really matters, right? Below are some of the beads that came out of her latest firing. Gorgeous, aren't they?!

And here we are! I had so much fun with MaryAnn (and her pack of goofy dogs) and I look forward to hanging out again.

Be sure to check out Bill's blog to enter his giveaway for a mug or a yunomi, and his Etsy shop for his wonderful pottery (Trust me, this is good stuff. I drink out of one of his mugs every day!). And also check out MaryAnn's blog and shop for all of her amazing beads. Thanks to both for a super fun weekend!


TesoriTrovati said...

How very cool is that? I just found out I won some of MaryAnn's beads. I am over the moon excited to see them, as they might play a starring role in one of my exhibit pieces depending on the color.
Looks like a good time was had by all.
Enjoy the day, Nancy!

Diana P. said...

That looked like it was tons of fun! And the beads turned out so nice!

Bill Perrine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Perrine said...

...and THANK YOU for coming and having fun with us all! We all did have a good time :-) And thanks for writing about it!

Kella said...

What a cool day which looked like it was made better by great company.

Thanks for introducing Bill and Maryann, her beads are so earthy and scrummy, I'll be following her blog now too, not that I really need to be adding to the list.

Kella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Perrine said...

I had a blast! You are the first person in my "real" life that actually will sit and talk BEADS for 2 days! I'm saving for a camera just like yours too....Awesome pictures!

Bill Perrine said...

One more thing...that was Bill that removed the comment...He made some typos ;o) The kiln is cooled already!