little bits of happy

yesterday I pulled this piece, and a few others (it was a tiny kiln load in my tiny kiln), from my kiln.  I was really happy with how it turned out.  This blue is a new color for me- brighter than I wanted, but I'm pleased.  The photo is dark so it's difficult to see (especially with the high gloss finish), but I really like the watercolor-y lightness and depth of color.  I want to play more with this watercolor effect.

I was also pleased that my little kiln made it up to ^6- I regularly bisque in this kiln- the bisque fire is the first firing- I take the kiln up to about 1900 degrees, slowly at first to make sure the pieces are bone dry- then finish up fairly rapidly in 10 or so hours.  Yes, I said rapidly.  The second firing goes to the mid 2200s and typically takes 13-14 hours.  The little kiln is older; the coils need to be replaced, but I rarely glaze fire because in the past it hasn't reached ^6 in 14 hours.  Happily, it did on Tuesday night and I opened the kiln up Thursday morning.  I've taken to letting the kiln cool for a full 24 hours before I even touch it- I don't want to risk cracks in the glaze or worse, the pots, from cool air flooding the hot pottery.  Once, in my first few years of making pots, I melted the sleeves of a down coat by taking a too-hot piece from the kiln.  I've learned my lesson there.

Other happy bits- the weather has cooled down to windows-open temps.  Next week will be back in the 90s, but this week's been a lovely reprieve.  And it's reminded us to get our firewood ready for actual cold.

I bought my plane ticket for San Francisco!  Only after much hesitating and dithering and nausea caused by sticker shock.  Lesson learned: next time, buy it when it's $300.  I am excited to go, and more excited to see my friend and mentor, Diana.  I'm also grateful that Gary's company is having a big meeting in an interesting city.  Work (at home, even) is going well for him, and I'm glad for that. 

This piece of pottery is for an Oct/Nov invitational show.  I'm really excited to be working on a large group of unified pieces.  They all have to hang on the wall- that's a challenge I'm working through.  I've figured out flattish bowls and platters, but I'd like to hang some deeper pieces.  Time for some experimentation.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone.