PREVIEW – Firing 98 – December 2017
My father, Gordon Hewitt, turned 98 in October, halfway through our 98th production cycle. While Dad’s is the greater achievement, firing the same big salt-glaze kiln 98 times is nonetheless quite an accomplishment, especially since we got some exquisite results this time from “old reliable”.
Notable are the new colors I’ve been having a fun time playing with this fall. I’ve been using a pointillist dotting technique to create patterns that echo late Ching Dynasty “mille fleurs” vases, and also creating bold abstract patterns on big pots that are in part inspired by the paintings of Milton Avery. I hope you enjoy the results as much as I do.
You may also notice that many of the smaller pots in this slide show are being held in my hand, as it is the tactile and kinetic aspects of these delightful, useful pots that I wanted to highlight. Making a pot feel right as you pick it up and use it is at the heart of the potter’s art.
Be sure to put a pot in your hand this Holiday Season! See you on Saturday!
Hamish Jackson’s pots
This cycle of making is always the shortest of the year, so we have been up against it, trying to make enough pots to fill the kiln as well as complete all the other necessary tasks such as cutting wood and grinding kiln shelves. We all stepped up and worked hard and managed to do it — we even had a few pots left over that wouldn’t fit in the kiln! One of our tactics was to make more planters and mixing bowls than usual, and these got placed in more varied spots in the kiln than usual, so there are some quite nice examples of them to be had.
The main day of the firing was a blustery fall day and the heat of the kiln kept us toasty. I think you will like the results. I am particularly happy with some of the egg vases that I made; I’ve tried small versions of this shape before but never larger ones. My pitchers and barrel mugs are gradually getting better — eking toward the goal of Mark’s elegant, light forms.
In other news, the bee hives down in Mark’s apple orchard are doing well. In the spring I had two and over the course of the summer split them into four. Fingers crossed they make it through winter. We might even get some honey next year!
Stillman Browning-Howe’s pots
I’ve been apprenticing for just over a year and a half, although it seems like I started just a couple of weeks ago. My skills have gotten so much better yet I still feel like I’m just beginning. This was by far the shortest cycle I’ve been a part of. It was a constant rush for all of us, trying to make the wares to fill the kiln. Despite only having 10 weeks, we made a nice load of pots.
I’m especially happy with how some of my small planters came out. We put them in some new spots in the kiln and I love the results that we got. Some of my bud vases were quite acceptable too!