The kiln is full folks!
It will fire tonight and tomorrow, cool all weekend, and come Monday I'll be one nervous but excited potter. This round is full to the brim with new glazes. Here's to hoping everything turns out better than I could hope.
I think one of the most significant reasons why I am sometimes (on my best days) a potter is the element of surprise that comes in the final product. Artists with far more experience than me can predict the results of their firings. Heck! let's even go ahead and say they can control their results. I can say that to a degree I am able to imagine the basics of how my pots will turn out, but the transformative force of heat is such a wonder to me. I understand the basics of the heat and chemistry, but in my reality it's still a process riddled with mysticism and magic. I read of masters in these arts using incantations rooted in words like carbon trapping, soda kiln, ash, reduction environments, oxidation, and so many other terms that have such latent power in their histories.
These words are nothing without the engines of change that tranmute chemicals suspended in bland chalky water into beautiful colors and endlessly surprising outcomes.
Meet my current engine of change. I know virtually nothing about her. She runs of electricity and can't fire reduction. I know that for my purposes she has two settings: 1 for bisque and 2 for glaze. There are an endless stream of runes scribed across her, but to my eyes they are incomprehensible.
Meet the dormant engine I wish worked. It sits in the school's kiln room gathering dust and rusting. Once it ran on gas, and there are still melted cones (relics from long ago) trapped behind it.
Daily I read about the different methods of firing, and with each day my hunger for a better understanding grows. The best way to learn is to make time and seek out the practitioners of the skills turned mythos by my over excitable fascinations. May you all have the pleasure of being healthfully obsessed, and may your weekends be sunny and fun filled.
See you on Monday!