anagama loading

this week don reitz and john ballisteri are firing spcc’s anagama with us.  what an honor to work with and learn from such respected potters.

yesterday i rushed home from work and to the studio.  the studio was full of people glazing.  wonky bottles and tea bowls covered the glaze room counters (ballisteri’s work).  things seemed to be wrapping up.  the studio emptied out, i stayed and worked for a few hours, but didn’t get much done.  i headed home for some dinner and then to j and j’s to drink some beer.

yesterday was kind of uneventful, but today more than made up for it.  got to the studio by 9:30 am, people are still glazing, slicing up soft brick, bringing out boards of ware. we all gather round to get the run down, chunky, delicate, 5 inch, 9 inch, etc.  wad with glue (not saliva?) and slightly in, in case glaze runs.

we are like ants (someone says) buzzing back and forth with more work for the kiln.  j, k and i bring out some large relief tiles of don’s and when i tell them where they are he says “thanks for bringing them out, thanks, thanks so much.”  he is so sweet.

kiln shelves need wash, r tells me how to make it and i start measuring out alumina oxide and epk, j from bowling green helps me mix it up into a slurry.  we bring it out and start rolling it on.  i love community activities like this.  while we are inside mixing the wash, other folks have laid out all the kiln shelves on 2 x 4s and started chipping off any previous glaze runs.  so we’re all chipping, and rolling and j is going behind us, wiping off drips from the sides of shelves.

the loading starts, wadding rolled into balls, dipped in elmer’s glue, stuck to pots, small station are set up, folks are in the kiln, others are spread out finding the right size.  j, j and i make cone packs, though our high temp cone packs get shot down by ballisteri for not being slanted enough, so i remake those with help from k.  it’s great fun to learn and repeating things just helps this along. spent awhile in the kiln as part of the human chain moving work in.

i tried to float around as much as i could today, doing a little bit of everything.  around 4:30pm things wrapped up and around then m stopped by and i got to show her around the studio and my apartment.  it was fun to share a little of my st. pete life with her.

to add some kick ass frosting this 3 cake of a day k invited everyone to a meal at her house.  k has an utterly amazing ceramic art collection in her house and she hosted a lovely evening for us.  we all got to enjoy some conversation with each other and relax.  i felt very lucky to be part of this day.  hard work, awesome artists, awesome art, learning tons of shit, speaking japanese with don reitz…it was really super great!

sorry, no pictures, but i’ll work on that.

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