Last week, I mentioned I was preparing to fire some work in a wood kiln at the end of October. We will be loading up the kiln very soon so it was imperative I finished all of my work as soon as possible so that the pieces could be bisqued and glazed in time for it to be walled up in the main chamber. I wanted to put a few more things in the kiln other than the bottle I wrote about last week, so I threw a few mugs inspired by one of my favorite artists, Adam Field. You can check his work out on his website here. I love the proportions of the handles as compared to the forms of the mugs he makes, and I am hoping mine will look just as lovely wood fired as his do, even if our two firing processes yield very different results.
And speaking of handles, I find handles are one of the hardest things to successfully add to pieces. They can be flimsy or too stiff and crack if they aren’t at just the right stage of moisture when you work with them. Getting the proportions right aesthetically is one thing, but it is also important to consider the sturdiness and structure of the physical weight bearing component. Avoiding clunkiness is incredibly challenging. They are even difficult to pull from the very beginning, but they needed to be pulled regardless. I watched a few videos to get inspired, and one video I found was a video done by Paul Donnelly, another potter of note, who pulls his handles in a way that requires much less water, and eliminates a lot of room for error. I’ll let him explain.
I, however didn’t use Mr. Donnelly’s method. I pulled handles the traditional way and made extra in case I wasn’t fond of the results on one or two, providing a little room for error purposefully. Hopefully in the coming weeks I’ll make an opportunity to try it out.
I’m pretty happy with the results actually. Here’s hoping the firing does them justice! Thanks for the read.