This year’s show schedule was filled with disappointing sales and weather. I did many explorations of other shows and interviewed as many artisans as I could. There were mixed reviews which resulted in a not very clear idea of what I was experiencing.
The winter is the time I can work without deadlines except the ones self imposed. I like that a lot. I get to experiment, amass product and plan for the next season. I have been firing year round with others that join me at the kiln. The wood kiln has been put to bed until March or April.
The pottery conference (NCECA) National Council of Educators in the Ceramic Arts provides much inspiration which lasts more than the mind can conjure. It is held yearly. This year it is in Milwaukee. The conference is usually 3 or 4 days with the host city opening its galleries to pottery, sculpture and ‘all things clay’. I can’t wait. My friend Ken Bichell, a potter from Iowa, will be hosting a week long wood fire workshop the week before the conference. I will definitely be there.
Hope you all have the Happiest of Holidays. Good friends, good food, good work for the New Year.
Ever wondered what the life of a Potter was like? Today we show you a glimpse inside the life of Lynn Isaacson from New Prospect Pottery.
Firing the gas kiln at New Prospect Pottery is usually a group effort. Potters from the tri-state area come to the pottery and use the pottery’s glazes which are mixed by me. People come early as it takes a bit of time to individually glaze and prepare pots for the kiln. Each potter must wax the bottom of their pots so as not to have them stick to the kiln shelves. Each pot must then be wiped clean of any glaze that adheres to the wax.
It seems like a daunting task to place everyone’s pots in the places in the kiln that create the effects each potter prefers. This kiln holds about 80 pots. Some firings have many more pots that will fit into the kiln. It is necessary then to hold two firings back to back. I start loading the kiln as soon as most of the work is glazed. Each potter can help with the loading process. Once loaded, the kiln is sealed so none of the spaces between the door, brick and spy holes contribute to extra air being introduced into the reduction atmosphere. I begin candling the kiln at 3 AM. This process removes any moisture from the pots, kiln furniture such as shelving and shelf supports.
After about an hour and a half of candling with one burner, I light another. An hour after that all four burners are lit. The firing then begins. At approximately 9:30 or 10:00 I put the kiln into what is called ‘body reduction’. This deprives the atmosphere in the kiln of oxygen. The flame seeks oxygen from the glazes and the clay. This gives the ware an unreproduceable effect that is different in each area of each specific pot. It is always a surprise to see what comes out after the 36 hour cooling.
How about a little trip to Woodbury, New Jersey this weekend? Woodbury is just south of Philadelphia which means a little balmier temperatures – a weekend of mid 70s and sunny? Count me in! But don’t worry, we have a team member selling local, too, scroll to the end of the post for a Hudson Valley event.
Anjali Creations and Merry Alchemy will be selling their jewelry at the Fall Arts Festival in Woodbury, NJ, this Saturday, September 28, from 11AM-6PM and Sunday, September 29, from 12-4PM.
The Fall Arts Festival is a celebration of the arts with a weekend of over 300 Artists, Artisans & Craftsmen featuring Five Stages of Free Music, Acoustic Music Lounge, Performing Arts, Fine ARTS Gallery, Gourmet Foods, Interactive Fun for Kids and Adults, Wine & Cheese Experience, Craft Beer Tasting, Art Battles, Chili Cook-off, Cake Wars & other Creative Activities.
It’s Labor Day Weekend! Time to celebrate summer one last time, enjoy the bounty nature gives us this time a year and plan ahead for a cozy cooler season. New Prospect Pottery will be selling her wonderful and beautifully glazed functional ceramic pieces at the Woodstock New Paltz Arts & Crafts Fair at the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz, NY, Saturday and Sunday, August 31 and September 1, 10AM-6PM and Sunday, September 2, 10AM-4PM.