I have week one behind me and what a doosy it was. I am busier than a squirrel before winter but its all a work of love. There’s school, ceramic production, my job at Diablo Burger (which I will fill you in on later), and taking care of my yellow lab named Lucy. She’s full of energy and shes already chewed up my roommates couch and throw pillows because I left her home too long, she’s too sweet to stay mad at though. Luckily shes allowed in the ceramics studio so shes been joining me often, keeping me company and working as a chick magnet.
The job at Diablo Burger is good(?). Its super hard work, at times I feel like I’m a slave in a labor camp but all my co-workers are totally rad and fun to be around. I also leave every shift with a full belly and a fresh brew to wash it down. But I’m at the bottom of the totem pole, I do the grunt work, like lift heavy things and wash dishes. That’s great though because I’m young, in college and washing dishes to pay rent is classic. Its a burger joint I know but you cant get a meal for less than 10 bucks. Its gourmet and most everyone I talk to agrees its the best burger in town. All the beef is free range, local, and organic. We use olive oil in all the cooking and EVERYTHING is made from scratch. Good stuff
The direction of my work is defiantly changing. I’m more focused on the refining of my forms. I feel it may be time to take the next daunting step and start making larger and more elaborate pieces. The wood fire class I’m in with Jason Hess will help me take that step. For the first wood firing we aren’t using much glaze, most of our pieces will actually be raw clay without glaze. This will allow us to clearly see the effects of the wood fire upon surfaces and will give us an idea of where within the kiln will produce certain effects. Here is a photo of my first weeks worth of work, I don’t think its too shabby. (I made all the clay myself in a pug mill, this is a darker clay that reacts well when wood fired.) The rest of the photos are of the wood kilns, they are the reason NAU is top in the nation when it comes to wood fires.
This kiln is brand new and is one of only 2 in the world, a famous Japanese artist named Takashi Nakazato visited over the summer and built it with his 2 apprentices. Its unique because it has 2 chimneys, one on each end. Typically, it is difficult to get the back of the kiln to temp but with this kiln, we can address that problem instantly by redirecting the fire. This also means that the atmospheric effects of the fire and ash will also be unique. (you can see chimneys of 3 other wood kilns in the photo.)
Here are some more kilns. a very good variety
This is an anagama wood fire kiln. Anagama is an ancient type of Japanese kiln that is partially in the ground and it means “cellar kiln”