It's over! Tomorrow morning I'm packing up the car and driving back to Helena. I don't know exactly what I could say to describe my time here..other then a few words like: awesome, amazing, stimulating, needed, wonderful, fun, super fun...
Last week I fired up the Cat. I had to push it back a few days to make a few extra pieces that I figured I needed. And a good thing too!.. Almost all of it fit except a couple of boards.. This kiln is about one third bigger then mine back home.. and I'm glad that I was able to talk with Markus about how many pots we thought could fit.
The above shot is from the short term studio as I wadded my pots...inside..and later rolled on carts directly out to the kiln. How spoiled right? even the kiln furniture was totally brand new.. straight... oh man it was great. the folks at Redlodge really know how to make it easy for a guy.
After Markus most graciously volunteered for the overnight, I came on at about 5 am and had the extreme pleasure of watching the sun show it's face on the first official day of Spring. The weather was about 60 degrees high and gorgeous. Later on David took a shift for a few hours and I finished the firing in 30 hours. cone 10s all 'round and a 3 pounds of salt.
Here's Hiltner... taking the classic, fisherman's pose. The pot is a new form he calls, "Fish Boat".
The firing went extremely well. The kiln was built by Markus Urbanik, Ted Neal and some of last years full time residents... The kiln really kicked ass. It is so incredibly insulated..there was only firebricks (exposed) wherever they really had to be, like.. around peep holes, stoking doors and whatnot. The kiln was a pleasure to fire. A big thumbs up goes out to all the hands that were involved. I'm humbled to say that I got to fire it off first... I mean, you never forget your first right? I hope I can fire it up again one day in the future.
And now... as most people are getting geared up to head to Seattle to have long talks about clay and see some of the best work being made now.. I'm going to vacuum the Red House here... and get ready to head back. I'm sad it's over..but glad to go home. Here I come, baby!
Maybe in a couple of weeks I'll have slides up..and a special online show that I'm calling, "Made in Redlodge". And they'll be available for purchase. Please stay tuned!