Today I prepared the sections of the tree like forms so I could make a mould.

I rang Gus Mabelson the head and main tutor of The Pottery Skills course this afternoon to organise a trial raku firing as I want to make sure everything runs smoothly on Saturday. I will go out tomorrow afternoon to Thomastown with my sample glazes and tea bowls. I was up until 2.30 this morning( Wed) making the glazes as it has been a few years since I used the glaze materials si I first had to search for them in the shed. I dug out my old glaze reciepes I used in college too. It was hard to get up.


I spent the morning finishing the moulds and sanding them down. I did the usual watering and spraying of the growing pieces. People are still stopping outside and some come in to have a closer look. I sent out an email to all the people who made teabowls as a reminder that the raku firing will happen on Saturday.

In the afternoon I went out to Thomastown. As Gus was busy, a pottery student helped me set up the raku kiln. Then I waited and checked the temperature using a thermocouple and a 04 cone. As I was unfamilar with the kiln I followed the students advice so the firing took 3 hours. I finally got home at 7.30. The results were ok. The transparent glaze ran a bit and i think the firing was overfired. I made up 3 simple glazes- a copper, a white and a transparent.


I rang Gus again and I arranged to go out tomorrow and have another trial run. I made up more glazes so it was another late night.

I have been thinking about the end of the residency. I don’t want it to be a complete end next friday. During my research on sand mandalas I found out that the Buddhists monks sweep up the mandala and hand out bags of it to people in the local community. I think this is a nice idea and it might be a way to extend the project further than the residency. I spoke to Mary Butler about my idea- Plant a seed and Tell a story”  of using the peat from the peat forms and make up paper bags of peat with a surprise  seed attached to a sticker with my email address. i would like people to send me a photograph of their plant and a little story of where they have planted it. Niamh was very helpful with sending out emails about Saturday and printing stickers for the bags with the information . Ben helped me fill up the “paper bags”- made from envelopes and sellotape and I went across to the garden centre to buy some flower seeds. I was feeling a little stressed that I would forget something on Saturday so I keep making lists of the things that I need.

I am going to launch this little project on Saturday.


This morning i went out to do another trial firing. I was out there until about 1pm. The glazes were successful although the bowls cracked when they were put into the saw dust. I picked up more saw dust in Kilkenny before lunch.

In the afternoon I had a appointment to meet Gemma Fullam of the Kilkenny Voice- a local newspaper. She had interviewed me during my second week in the Arts office. She read my blog and says that it is interesting. As she has never returned to an artist during the residency she thought it would be a good idea. I talked about how the work had progressed, the reaction to the work from the public, the positive and negative aspects to the residency. The only negative aspect is the fact that I realise how confined I am with space and I really enjoyed utilising the space in the Arts office. The postive aspects are many.  Mary was great to talk to when i felt stuck with an idea or when I wasnt sure If I should continue with another. Niamh was alway willing  to help with reading over an idea, printing out labels, sending emails, offering support and  generally supportive.

Niamh got a loan of large flasks for tea and coffee. The Arts office supplied the tea and coffee. I packed all these into the car and bought biscuits. I keep checking m list to make sure I havent forgotten anything.