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Ground Breaking

Reuse, recycle, reduce. We hear these ideas all the time and I tend to think they are good ones. It comes in especially great when someone gives me an old kiln.  That is exactly what happened when the electric kiln that we used for cone 6 glaze firing gave up the ghost at Callanwolde. It’s a good size kiln, much bigger than my electric kiln but I’m not interested in rewiring this one. You may remember I did that with my electric kiln when I installed the kiln sitter (you can read about that here) which I got from another free kiln.

My plan for this kiln is to make it a reduction kiln since that is the look I like best for my pots. I am even considering adding a stoke hole so I can feed some small piece of wood into the kiln for some ash and wood effects.

Before I can start converting it into a gas kiln I need to build a kiln shed. My current kiln room is fine for the electric kiln but it’s too crowded to add flame to the mix. I’m designing a simple lean-to type shed that will have a m…

Keep On Learning

Sometimes a teacher will say something that sticks with us our entire life.  When a teacher knows this it’s often a great joy to them. What’s the point of teaching if your students don’t take something useful away when they leave the class. One of my pottery teachers, Lucille Scurti told me to keep on learning when I graduated from her class. We had dinner together back in January and she told me the same thing. We talked about workshops that she has taken over the years, some very recently.  We talked about how sometimes people don’t understand how a professional, accomplished artist and teacher would spend time and money to attend classes and workshops.  It’s about learning and growing. It’s about getting feedback from your peers. It’s about continually trying to improve yourself and your craft.

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

This week I started taking a soda firing class with my friend Lora Rust at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. I think this is going to be fun. We started by helping to unload the soda kiln from another class.  This was a great learning opportunity for the students who have not previously fired in soda. It was also a great opportunity for me to start to learn this kiln and plan my pots. Honestly, if every class and workshop on atmospheric firing (soda, salt, reduction, wood firing) started out this way I think it would shorten the learning curve dramatically. It will be interesting to see what happens.

I walked into the class with no plans, no ideas, nothing. I walked out planning a new surface idea for the mishima pots I make. I’m pretty excited to get that started. Stay tuned to see what happens, it might be exciting for all of us.

What do you do to keep on learning?

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


  1. I learn something on a blog every day, I also take classes, looking forward to seeing you soda pots

  2. What do i do? I s'pose I try to keep an open mind and open eyes :)


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