I’m lucky to have a commercial studio, where I’m free to draw, paint, sculpt, and teach. But many times, I’ve wanted to work at home, in the evenings. So this summer I set up a little home studio. I’ve wanted to delve into pottery – ever since art school (20+ years ago!), so this was no quick decision, but on a whim, I purchased a small nearly new kiln from a nice lady who’d hardly used it. When I went to the local pottery supply store, I was told about another store that was closing, where everything was reduced to clear. I eagerly filled the trunk of my car with boxes of glazes and greenware! I got home to discover the greenware pieces were too big for my little kiln, but this wouldn’t dissuade me. (I already have plans to purchase a larger kiln next year.) For now, I’m happy to get my feet wet with small pieces, jewelry mostly.
My first project was to make 48 test tiles. The purpose of test tiles is to see how the kiln and clay and glazes work together. Not all clays and glazes are compatible. Not all kilns fire the same. I had no experience firing a kiln! I did a lot of research as to how to program it for the best results. And when the clay was bone dry, I loaded the kiln and turned it on, and waited. Patience is needed in pottery/ceramics. You must wait for the clay to dry, you must wait during the firings, and you must wait until the kiln is back to room temperature to see the results. It took 12 hours for the bisque firing, another 12 hours for the glaze firing, and an additional 8 hours for the kiln to cool. But it was so rewarding to see what I made! Even though they were just test tiles!
Stay tuned, to see what I make next!