So-da Time is Right!

I was impressed by the results of the Ruthanne Tudball soda firing this last March. It was opened on the day after the most recent Clay Symposium at Shadbolt Centre and there were some juicy orange peely surfaces. For a while now I’ve been enquiring around for opportunities to participate in a salt firing again without any success. Last year I made about fifteen pieces in stoneware and sprayed them with likely slips in the hopes of a salt firing soon and they’ve sat, bisqued, in my kiln shed ever since.

A few weeks ago I decided that perhaps I should have the experience of soda firing with a like-minded group of potters one more time and, without much hope of getting into the next one at Shadbolt, I registered myself – and was told I was eighth on the waiting list. I thought perhaps I’d get some interesting results with my various salt-intended slips and liner glazes in the soda. Plus, the Shadbolt Centre is a marvellously convenient twenty minute drive from here – rather than the three day drive to the lovely kilns at Medalta!

Now I have received a phone call inviting me to join the soda-firing workshop which starts tomorrow! There was no time to make any new pots but my already bisqued ones will just about make the allowed two cubic feet of ware. So I spent a happy afternoon today going over my notes on what I’d sprayed on each and then glazing the insides of them all with shino, ‘yellow salt’ and ‘white salt’ glazes. Tomorrow I’ll listen to leaders Linda Doherty and Jay MacLennan discussing their glazes and methods – but for this first of what I hope may be several firings for me I have chosen to use the glazes I’m familiar with. Then on Thursday we’ll be loading the kiln, and on Friday we will join Linda and Jay when it’s time for the addition of soda.

Then.. we don’t get to see what’s happened until next Tuesday.

Meanwhile summer has finally arrived and my studio in the bright basement has been a cool place to try to add to my stock of jugbirds. There are now twenty waiting for me to paint them. I also made more plates and platters for Raiders but we have been unable to coordinate any Raids recently. Eric is preparing for an exciting show in September but I know some of the others are hoping to come out to paint as soon as it can be arranged.

At the same time we’ve had a long-booked house-painting happening. Friends recommended Henryk and we were not disappointed. He worked alone, long hours, and our house has never looked so grand! We have selected a warmer yellow ochre with almost white trim and then a different shade of green for the window frames. The doors are terra cotta and the stairs are an elegant green-blue grey. It turns out that these are all some of my most favourite slip colours. So one day while Henryk toiled away outside I painted a squarish plate in very similar colours. It has window-ish shapes and winds up looking rather mid-century Modern. When it’s fired it will almost match the house exactly.














The sunshine has encouraged my hollyhocks to excel themselves so to finish today’s blog here are just three of the many gorgeous colours I have this year. Next, the lilies!

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