Monthly Projects: September 2021

4. Something’s Firing

Just a few things I have put in the kiln but only last night! Erm… I’ve been very busy since my mishap last Saturday, so haven’t even got back to my inky exploits yet… Tomorrow though as there wasn’t much to add.

Normally, there’s something to at least show you by the end of the month, but September by the end got fraught with interruptions in the last week including just helping my neighbours move out today. It is now 3.pm and aside from firing my kiln, I have done very done nothing art wise myself today. My kiln is now switched off now after a bisque firing. Kilns and their safe use is scheduled for Tuesday to finish my first Pottery Blog ready for the next now my beginners one is done, bar photos, so it’s in draft form only.

On Twitter I’ve touched on how to go green and safe energy if you’re a potter in these difficult times. I try not to switch my central heating on until November to kind of justify having my kiln, but it will be coming indoors to help keep costs down. Panic buying only helps to increase costs but it is a natural reaction after lockdowns. Animals do it as they must to survive – famine/feast. Please try not to, folks as medical staff don’t need that worry, or indeed those they need to get to. It might be you one day but I hope not.

So how have I done for September’s challenge? Well. I slowed upped considerably because I was enjoying it so much. The blind coil pot started as a simple dish which is currently being turned into a lid. The thrown pot I did do is now cooling down with the addition of a spoon, the full size wheel I only used yesterday. The only thing that stopped me yesterday was the cold as it got dark and as I have cataracts I may have to leave off drawing until they are so bad they can be operated on and, there’s a backlog for medical care at present. Even our Queen had to wait before her operation on that front. I am still safe to drive even without glasses, just for now, so it won’t be for a while yet.

1, 2 and 3, thrown pots on the wheel yesterday. The first two very quick… The last I just savoured later in the day. Phew, result!

Above you can see my throwing attempts on the big wheel, and it seems by replicating the conditions at a craft fair I can throw a pot after all, so that’s another pottery blog for some point in the future now too. I feel as if I’ve passed some final exam to make me a fully fledged potter. I knew the theory well enough as I tried many times in evening classes. So these three and they were the only attempts, I thoroughly enjoyed.

All I did was put the wheel on a step and sat on the next step up to do it! I even forgot I had a foot pedal. Up and down I went and I had lumps I removed but few bits flying off as I was mindful of the top so kept closing and opening on the last one for more practice. I delighted in the rings of clay going up and down, closed my eyes and forgot about everything except the feel of that clay. They are all far from perfect. Not least because the wheel chugged as the it was on a cobbled path so wasn’t absolutely level, hence the lumps I suppose, but I live to learn. So I’ll know to check that. Wish I had done so when glass fusing in retrospect, with my first kiln.

Oops, some did not survive, this has… So far. But it’s going to a vase rather than a box.

As for the blind sculpture, pop back later and there’s nothing new to see yet on my favourite part of the this month’s project yet. Although my favourite one of all has had more work done but is being saved to kick start my new Pottery blog a week on Tuesday, as having been so busy it dried out. My theme then will be hints, tips, cheats and yes… repairs that I’ve both remembered and have of will be resorting to this week. Feel free to add comments if you have any ideas that are not well known. I might not get back to you, but others will appreciate it due to unexpected events. Even reorganising this month’s block has taken me nearly two hours mainly because I have so many images on this sight, but also I’ve found it gets hiccups and at times stays in caps lock which you can only undo one letter at a time. 😳🥴 I will have to upgrade, but am trying to avoid it til 2022!