Monday, November 22, 2010

The Deed is Done

This morning on my way to that full-time job of mine, I could not help but notice the flakes of snow flying into my windshield. There weren't very many of them and the weather quickly turned to rain, but it was cold out.

It's not exactly throwing in the towel, but I stopped in at Blue Hill Plumbing and Heating and asked them to turn off the water for the winter. So it's done. I'm firing a kiln today and will continue to do that over the winter as I produce tiles at home. I'm even thinking of finding a low-cost (used?) wheel and bringing the extruder home so that I can continue to make napkin rings during this 'dark side' of the year. Not sure as yet.

I'm pushing my plans for a holiday tile into next year. I still have a lot to learn about working with plaster - at least in the die making department - and I have spent a lot of time filling orders and solving problems this year. All of those projects have ended successfully, so I'm sure the tile shop will do as well. But now is not the time to be adding new stresses. It's the time for planning and thinking.

I'll be taking orders over the winter for springtime production. The web site is now up and running although there are still many additions to put up. Please have a look at the Lowell Hill Pottery site and let me know what you think.

Until sometime very soon...

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Return of Moss Agate

Moss Agate has returned! While it was never the most popular of the Rowantrees glazes, Moss Agate was always among the loveliest because of the manner in which its appearance changed depending on how thickly it was applied. Its reformulation was challenging largely because of my desire to capture that property. Some experimentation still needs to be done in terms of applying the glaze - it renders a beautiful red color when applied thinly but may tend to crawl if too thick - but as with all the other glazes to date, it promises to be a very good if not entirely exact replacement to the original. Here is a picture of a jam jar set in the new Moss Agate:

This glaze also works well with the current Duckshead Black. Here are two mugs - one in plain Moss Agate and the other in combination witht he black:

I'm glad to have this under control at this point in time as the studio will have to shut down for the winter soon. There is no heat in the building so the pipes will have to be drained out. So much has been accomplished to date, however. It will be much easier to start production up again in the spring since so many hurdles have been overcome.

The clay has been chosen, most of the glazes have been reformulated to withstand production requirements, and the few formulas left to convert are well into the process. They are the less-often used formulas, but they have their followings as well. Among these are Seagull Gray (for which a base glaze has been formulated - it's now a matter of adjusting color), Jonquil Yellow and Evergreen. Their day will come.