a new year

Happy 2012! I love the energy I feel at this time of year- everything feels fresh and new, and I have renewed interest for productivity on all fronts, especially after some really nice time off for the holidays!  In our world, those bursts of inspiration to WORK (and burn off xmas cookies!) have come at home on the farm, and in the studio . . . I right dove into testing new slips and clays (I actually dislike doing this most of the time, but thanks to the change in the calendar, there are about 12 new combinations that will hopefully lead to enhanced surfaces on the painted pots!), and the studio is full of butter keepers and soup bowls slipped and glazed for the wood kiln.

On the home front, we've been gathering slab wood from our neighbor's new saw mill (serendipity at it's best- more on this later!), cutting it to dry for future firings, and building onto our kiln shed! Thanks to the non-winter weather we've had lately, we managed to get the kiln shed addition nearly complete! If the pictures don't do it justice, let me tell you that adding ten feet onto the building makes it feel exponentially large and spacious. (Holy smokes, we are the proud owners of a fifty-foot long kiln shed! And yes, this makes it's square footage larger than our house. What does that say about our priorities?!) There's something about closing in the back wall makes it clear just how large and lovely a space we really have. We love the ship lap boards that our friend at the local saw-mill made for us, and the fact that we have all these great shelves, in the form of the 'nailers' for the siding, throughout the building. Next week, Becca will finish refurbishing some old windows for those holes, and we hope to finish the sliding door and a vent for the heat that will eventually come from that there chimney! Oh, and finishing the roofing, we'll need to do that. It's been sort of funny to shovel snow out of the area that's closed in on the sides, but we've been awaiting the arrival of some semi-transparent roof panels that will allow light to filter through into the back of the shed. It is SO nice to see all of these dreams coming into form . . .

On the kiln front, we've finished the insulating layer!!! Last weekend, we had some hours (and some cold hands) to lay the last soft brick onto the arch of the first chamber, leaving only the adobe/skin coat layer to officially complete the kiln! We are holding off for some warmer weather for this, since we've got all these pots to make in the meantime. There's also a little bit of earth buttressing and site work to do before we'll feel secure burning out the wooden form that still stands inside the kiln.

We hope your start to the new year has been happy.  We leave you with this image of our puppy, who seems to find joy in climbing into recently occupied chairs.  Or maybe it's that he finds comfort, and we find joy in watching him do it.