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Why Soda Firing

The pots in a soda kiln usually don’t have much glaze on the outsides of them, they are glazed by the introduction on soda ash, which volatiles when it hits the flame and creates a glaze. The flame then carries the soda ash through the kiln and the pots become glazed wherever the flame and soda kiss the pots.

Here you see me spraying the soda ash which is mixed with boiling water, into the kiln at about 2200 degrees.

 The results can be greatly varied with this type of firing. For me, that's a big part of the fun of it. You never know with 100% certainty, what you will get from the kilns.

This pot shows where the glaze hit the surface and really added a nice difference in appearance. The green you see is a spearmint glaze that I used inside the pot and along the rim. The soda mixed with that glaze and made it very dark, almost black in some spots and almost white in others. You can also see where it kissed the shoulder of the vessel and the handles. The orange color is from a flas…

Don't Postpone Joy

If you've ever been to the Penland Benefit Auction you've seen this slogan on a bumper sticker.  You might have even picked one up and put it on your car or somewhere else.  If you read the smaller type you'll see it promotes Laurey's Catering in Asheville, NC.  Laurey and her team catered the auction dinner until Laurey lost her battle with cancer this year.  They still cater the auction, Laurey is there in spirit.

I've been thinking about this phrase a lot in the past few weeks as I experienced my father's diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and his death only 5 weeks later.  We never imagined it would be that fast, we felt that we had another moment to spend with him, and then we didn't.

About a week or so before my dad passed away I read a post in the wonderful blog Zenhabits that asked the question "..if you had a month to live:  how would you spend it?"  I've sat at the bedside of several people with only one month to live and I can tell you, you would spend it in a hospital bed surrounded by people saying good-bye while they tried to keep you comfortable.  I brought dad some figs from the tree outside my house.  We raised it from a twig and now it produces ample fruit for us, our friends, the birds, and the squirrels.  He was excited when I told him I brought some but didn't want one at that moment, he wasn't hungry.  He never tasted one.  Don't postpone joy.

Yes, my head is in a weird place right now.  Thankfully, I have some clay to stick my hands into with the hopes of making something beautiful and bringing some joy into the lives of others.  Not everyone is so lucky as me.  Maybe today you'll call someone and tell them that you love them or stop and pet a dog that wants nothing more than a belly rub.  If you live in New Jersey and want to do something maybe you can participate in this Walk for Pancreatic Cancer Research.  Whatever you do and however you spend this day I hope you find some joy.

Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff


  1. Lori I am so sorry for the loss of your father. So many of us bloggers are going through the same things this year. I guess that's what happens when you get to be about our age. It's part of life, but it doesn't make it any easier.
    My Mom also lived about a month after her cancer diagnosis. I find comfort in the fact that she didn't suffer for months on end.
    Take care of yourself and allow time to grieve.

    1. Michėle, I know you understand all too well what I'm going through. I'm sorry about that for you.

  2. I had no idea that your father had passed, so sorry. so true about not postponing joy, I've come to regret a few decisions or lack of them and try to remind myself every day to think about my decisions.

  3. So sorry to hear about your Dad's passing Lori and thankful that you didn't delay your visit to spend time with him. Rachel.

  4. Oh gosh, so sorry to hear about your father and so true. Forget grand bucket lists, try to savor and appreciate all living moments, we don't know what we have!


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