We are finally back at work in the pottery. Proper work.
There was still so much to finish off in and around the pottery. We have been trying to achieve the impossible.
To rebuild in a few years what it took us 40 years to build up over a lifetime of potting, collecting and restoring.
There is still a lot to do, but most of all the pressingly urgent stuff is complete and in place. The extraction hood over the electric kilns was the last really necessary thing.
I am currently working part time on a flame combustor, spark arrestor and scrubber for the top of the wood kiln chimney. That will be completed in the next few months in time for the cooler weather and the first wood kiln firing of the season.
This week I made up a batch of rough stoneware body made from crushed shale. I had to spend some time crushing and sieving the shale. I have had this stuff for some time. It had come through the fire and is full of charcoal from the fire. It wasn’t too arduous, as it was only through a coarse mesh.
After mixing the two x 125 kg batches of body, we pugged all the clay twice. Once all through the pug and then stacked on the pug table in a pyramid stack. We then cut off all the ends of the sausages and re-pug it all another time, such that each sausage that comes out of the pug is comprised of a mix of all the previous pugs of clay. This is to ensure that there is very little variability from the first to last sausage of clay.
After finishing up, the pug mills and tables are all washed and wheeled out of the way and all the floors are wet scrubbed and mopped to clean off any small amount of clay that finds it way onto the floor, which it inevitably does. The floor is scrupulously clean all through. All the clay is bagged and boxed. Everything ship shape.
This is the best pottery workshop that we have ever had. Having been burnt out 3 times over our careers. I have designed and built this 4th workshop/studio with every piece of equipment on wheels to facilitate flexibility and cleanliness.
We have been picking lots of food from the garden, then cooking and preserving all the excess. We are up to our 5th batch of tomato passata.
Oven baked pumpkin is great on its own and can be used up all week in all sorts of ways from frittata to salads.
Tomatoes, basil, capsicums, chilli and pepper corns go into the passata.
We had an over ripe banana and a few eggs, so I made us a banana soufflé for desert. It worked out really well.
All part of our attempts at self-reliance. It seems to be working out OK.
You must be logged in to post a comment.