It’s Sunday and It’s the end of a mad and hectic week. This was my last full week being an Artist in Residence in no.72 John Street. On Wednesday I will have to start cleaning up the studio space that means sweeping up all the pieces on the floor. Some people have asked if I am disappointed that they have to be destroyed. To be honest I am not really as I really enjoyed making them in the first place and I would like to be able to start fresh ones. Only thing preventing me at the moment is space as I couldn’t imagine these pieces on the wooden floor at home. Now that it is summer I might use the good weather to create pieces outdoors.

So back to the mad week.

Yesterday was the end to the mad week. About 20 people turned up in The Mill in Thomastown where I had organised a glazing of the teabowls and then a Raku firing. People started arriving around 12 and had tea, coffee adn biscuits ( finally managed to get the lid onto the big flasks). So after introductions, refreshments and a browse in the Pottery shop we went up to the glaze room where I showed everyone the process of glazing a tea bowl with the help of a friend who has many years of pottery experience. So while everybody got stuck into the glazing I started heating the Raku Kiln. Hopefully most of this was captured on video before the battery ran out. I took out my digital camera to take some photos but I forgot to put in the batteries( I always either forget to recharge the batteries or leave them behind) . There were alot of people with cameras so hopefully I will get the pictures so I can put them up on the blog.

Around 1.30 we were ready to put the first lot of tea bowls into the kiln. Most people had not seen a raku kiln before so there was alot of interest in it and in the process of firing one. I did try to answer the technical questions to the best of my knowledge and Christine was great to fill in the blanks. While the kiln was firing more people arrived so I enlisted the “new experts” to help with the glazing while I sorted out recharging the video camera. During the week I had emailed people suggesting that they bring a picnic but unfortunately the rain was so heavy for most of the day. Some people went off the cafe’s and resturants around Thomastown. I had my lunch at 5 provided by Tomm who was insistent that I should eat it. I was so busy I wasn’t even thinking of food- surprisingly!

I had about 4 raku firings in all. The first one was the slowest as the kiln needs to heat up. The subsequent firings took about an hour. We had only one explosion! Overall people seemd very happy with their tea bowl and with the results of the raku firing. There was alot of oohhh’s and aaahhh’s over the glazes.

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