Kiln Shed Video

Hi! Happy Wednesday.  I'm having a great day out in the workshop making some bottles and other pots.  I'll have images of that in the next day or two.

For now I wanted to show this video I shot this morning down at the kiln shed.  It shows my salt kiln and small gas kiln.


I made the gradual switch from salt glazed stoneware to earthenware in the early months of 2008.  There were several reasons that I changed my work and I think I've talked about this a little before.

One of my very early influences and one of my heroes to this day is Ron Meyers from Athens, Georgia. Ron makes amazing earthenware pots and from the first time I saw him make pots I knew that one day I'd try to make some red pots with some sort of imagery on them.  That desire has always been inside me, to make pots with drawings or painting or what not.  I just never knew how, not until I threw myself into a new body of work.

Another reason for going to low fire earthenware was rising fuel costs.  My salt kiln is built from hard brick and is fired with propane.  It takes a while to heat up all those brick and with the cost of propane rising I dreaded firing the kiln.  It was costing me somewhere just over $200 per firing.  Of course, if I'd been selling plenty of pots then that wouldn't have been such a big deal.  But I think in my mind I was ready to try something new so it all came together.

Switching to a lower temperature and firing in an electric kiln solved the fuel cost issue.  I also found that I enjoyed having a quick turnaround in a small kiln.  This was good as I was learning to work with the new clay and glazes.  I wasn't putting so many pots at risk in a larger kiln with each firing.

As far as switching to a new body of work goes I feel like I'm still moving along in this stream that is decorated earthenware pots.  I certainly could have started decorating my stoneware salt glazed pots, but I had worked in that way for so long that I just felt that I needed to start totally fresh and let go of my old ideas of what I 'should' or 'shouldn't' do.  It was basically starting fresh, new materials, new firing, new decoration.  I already knew how to make the pots, so I didn't have to change my forms.  If anything, earthenware is so much more forgiving than stoneware.  Plates didn't warp and I had no cracking issues or anything of the sort (not that I had ever had too much of a problem).

So that's it in a nutshell.  I may talk more about it again later.  If you have any comment or questions feel free to leave them in the Comments section.  I love to hear from you all!