Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Busy May

So the month of May has been extra busy. All potters that I know are preparing for the 1001POTS exhibit in mid-July. After the move and setting-up my studio, I was finally able to concentrate on making pots for this event. We've had so much rain for the last 2 months that whenever it's sunny everyone tries to re-charge on some sun. Being quite deprived myself, I set up my glazing tables outside and did just that for two full sunny days. I sure got my dose of sun and was glad it became gray and rainy again for the rest of the week. It was awsome to glaze outside, listening to birds mixed with my radio and smelling pine and sweet wild strawberries while the sun's heat loosened up my back muscles.
Cleaning-up was much simpler as well and the pots were nice and dry ready to jump in the kiln.
Can't wait to do it again...except now it's black fly season starting! Yikes..

My shed that was transformed into my studio.

Glazing and enjoying the beautiful sunny day
 In May, I also had the privilege to visit a fellow potter Matthieu Huck and give him a hand with his wood-firing. He has a lot of experience and even though that was only his third firing in his own
up-draft kiln, he was very laid back and confident. I think he was quite satisfied with the results. He designed and built his own kiln. Quite impressive.
His kiln has an unusual feature of having two small fire-boxes.
Matthieu checking the cones at the end of firing

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

A new season

Nice freezing spring weather in time for renovations

The shed as we took posession of it
Spring is barely here where I live.  And april seemed never ending for me.I've just moved into a new home and a new studio. Moving things from one home to another is not my favorite activity but it's straight forward. Moving a work place is way harder. It's for the best of course, that was the whole point of the big move. It was for me to finally have a workshop that I would plan, organize and settle in properly. Next to our house, there's a decent size shed (12X16 feet) that has become my studio.
Before the move, we had to empty it from loads of stuff that the previous owner left us.
(Including dead mice) Then take down all the plywood heavily nailed all over the unfinished walls with crowbars.

 After that clean-up we were able to start insulating the walls, then nail a polyurethane plastic over it.
Then drill in wood supports before putting the plaster walls.

Shed starting to look like a workable place and a bit warmer
 I had NEVER done any of these tasks and eventhough they seemed simple...when it's the first time there is a huge amount of wasted time while trying to figure out the best approach to this and that or to patch up errors etc. I had great help from my husband, my father in law and a few friends.
We even insulated the floor with a special 2 inch thick foam, then added plywood and vinyl flooring.
We finally finished moving everything we've got in this world yesterday! The challenge now is where to put it all. My workshop is still unfinished, but it's good enough for me to start working in it as I have less than 2 months for the 1001 POTS event left plus 2 other events in the summer. I am almost panicking but I've been getting up very early and that helps me feel better and do more.
I've learned so much about tools and materials this past month that I feel ready to start thinking about working on another construction project...like a small wood kiln...Just thinking about it.
If anyone out there has websites, books or ideas they want to share with me about building a very small  and simple woodkiln, please let me know.
It's good to have a good place to work in! A HUGE Thank You to all my helpers, teachers, tool lenders, advisors, babysitters, cooks, massage therapists and great friends.
What comes around goes around.
Back to work!
Will post a photo of the finished studio soon!