January 23rd, 2019
That old saying "Time flies when you're having fun." works most of the time, especially if you are having fun. But most days aren't exactly "fun" but are simple "just"...the days starts, it moves along and it ends...it's "just" there. Even then time can fly by. It would seem that "Time flies whether you're having fun or not."
This week was a wild ride here at the studio. It was a mixed bag of highs and lows with explosions in the kiln, dropping pots, mystery containers of goo being found, kiln equipment malfunctioning at the worst posssible moments (and I could go on)...just a wild week on the negative side. But, like all things clay, there were some absolutely magnificent moments with extraordinary vibrant colors and, at times, a seldom felt sense of control over process. When things went poorly, they went VERY poorly and when things went right, they went exceptionally well. It was a roller coaster ride.
In all the hub-bub of putting the final touches on the work for the upcoming trade show, we also had to pare the line a tad to make time for the new products. We decided to stop producing saggar work to allow for time to produce the new products. This was also a decision made easier by the safety concerns we always have had with the process. Even now, with the smoke inhalation with the other three processes, it takes a day or two to recover from the five days of firing pots each month. And yes, I wear a mask.
I will miss not doing saggar pieces each month, but find that the obvara process is comfortably filling that curiosity niche for me. There is something about obvara that I find very exciting. Perhaps it' the newness in the vastness of the ceramic world. Perhaps it's the primitive nature of the process. I do love the experimental nature of the process. I also love the results.
Sometime soon, an article I wrote in support of our ongoing experiments using obvara will be published. The experiments and article are support through our Patreon page (www.patreon.com/lickinflames). As a full time studio potter, it is very difficult to focus on new experimental processes and techniques. Having the support of patrons really helps focus my efforts on the experiemental side of the craft...like obvara.
Jim writes most of the dribble for our Banter. Sometimes it's serious, but often not...then, neither is Jim