I'm at The Art Gallery of Burlington for a couple of days learning to fire a computerized Geil gas kiln. Oh my, computers! I really prefer to fire by sight, sound and smell. I feel like someone else is driving the car and I look out the side window for fear of a crash.
To kill time I making some Canatoni's on an old Williams wheel. I love these kick wheels and in my dream studio I would have one. They take up a lot of room and are heavy but for a soft clay, slow wheel man they are a Cadillac. I get an undulated uneven rim on my cups without even trying. Often people look at my rims and feel sorry for me that I never learned how to throw properly.  I  love the sound of the occasional foot step as you give the fly wheel a nice little love tap with your boot. In my opinion all students should start with a kick wheel as it gives you a better feel for when to speed up and when to slow down. Most beginners use far to fast a wheel speed.
There are some great makers working here this week. Reid Flock is throwing and assembling some giant bowls with his signature ribbon handles. Reid had a studio in Japan for 13 years. There is also Jordie Alfaro a sculpture/potter from Spain that is now living and working here. Lucky us for both these dudes.  Some amazing big scale work and a yellow shino that would have the glaze police torturing themselves. Evelyn Kelch my former student and wood fire mentee is here making pots as well. Nice facility and even better company.


Vicki Hamilton said…
T, I learned on a kick wheel - still prefer it to the electric. It's a more personal way of making pots, I think.

I just fired yesterday - our lovely old AD Alpine updraft. Overnight candling, 10 hr firing - even and easy, guided by sight, sound and smell. I'll unload on Friday. Can't imagine firing a computerized reduction kiln. I know control us only an illusion, but geez, I want to be the one driving that bus!

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