The Best of Sawdust and Dirt
A record of the goings on around Michael Kline Pottery!
Filtering by Tag: pugging clay
Ooo I'm loving the new recipe I just ran through the pug mill! The addition of bentonite and sagger clay are making up for the red dirt's lack of plasticity and is throwing itself right out of the pugmill! Usually I don't use much of the clay until it's rested a day or two, but, likewise, I can never resist trying some right away.
The red dirt that I'm using was dug around Easter and has been sitting around mellowing . This afternoon I took the sun dried slop that I mixed the other night (fireclay, feldspar, sagger, bentonite) and ran it though the pug mill and then weighed it in six pound balls. Then I weighed six pound amounts of red dirt. Then I matched the two and threw them into the mill together. The other end of the mill produced a slightly marbled pug of gray and red. So I ran them through again to homogenize the two clays. Then I put the finished clay in some plastic totes.
Now, tonight, I'm making a few pots before calling it quits on the making side of things.
The bisque ware is piled up all over and I will get to setting up my painting area tomorrow.
While I am really loving this clay, I wouldn't mind being here or here this weekend. I wish all my potter friends at these events much success! Sell'em all!
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Around here if a large tree falls into the road after a storm you bet there will be some chain saws buzzing away no doubt from the DOT "call list" of boys with saws, trucks, and wood stoves. But in this case four eight inch (in diam) hemlocks didn't warrant the DOT to have this sight cleaned up. Broken glass, plastic BMW parts, a rear view mirror all left behind.
They could have at least left a note.
OK, now that that rant is off my chest I can move on to the news of the day!
Toni Campanella is back from Cleveland for some summertime fun at Penland and here to work at the pottery. First off, we packed a bunch of pottery that was waiting to get out into the world. Some pots went to Dow Studio in Deer Isle, Maine! So look out Down Easters for some southeastern pottery! Better late than never...Another is on its way to the Ohio University wood fire conference, in Athens Ohio. Check out the blog that Bryce is keeping to highlight the events there.
We also pugged some of the clay that was ready and left some that was just too damn soft. I tended to the plates I threw the other day and tried to fashion a new wire tool after my Mudtools wire broke. I've been trying to pay special attention to the handling (cutting off, flipping) of the plates and hoping to get less warping this time around. I had cut the plates off after they were thrown, but they had to be cut again. It was asking a lot for the wire to go through the drier plates. I'll try to blog about the repair of that Mudtool wire tool, because it is possible. But if you want to buy me a new one that would save me from myself!
My lumber mill connection, Milan Street has been by three times now, and I've got my work cut out for a while. In this photo you are looking at 2/3rd's of the total amount needed to be cut. This is enough wood to fuel my kiln for the next year and probably enough cut off's that I can heat the shop. The key for me is to get it cut and stacked so that I can use it as soon as next month. I cut a pickup truck load of wood this evening and will try to cut every day.
This afternoon I pugged about 600 lbs of reclaim from the last session in the shop. I managed to throw a few plates after supper tonight. Most sessions begin with a whisper, with a few pots here and there, a loosening up of a distant memory I have of the wet process of throwing pots. Towards the end of a session, it's a juggling act of throwing painting, glazing, and firing the kiln. After the firing, there is a period of commerce, a distribution of the results.
With the Etsy online sale a success, and the pots shipped out, I re-focus on the excitement of wet clay. It's good to feel that the wheel is turning, and I'm excited about this 32nd firing. What will emerge from the intensity of focus in the coming weeks? Seems like I've done this a few times before but the results can't be predicted.
Tomorrow I head over the mountain to my home state of Tennessee to get my wisdom teeth pulled out. Fun! I'm not sure what kind of shape I'll be in to throw pots or cut wood, but this is a start and that's a lot for now.
I hope that I can recapture some momentum here at the blog after an eventful summer of regular visits to Penland, crazy weekly schedules, vacation, etc. Hope you'll be along and I hope you'll join in with a comment from time to time. It's always nice to hear from you!