first loading

The week+ it took us to load our new kiln for the first time put our kiln shed to the test: rain, rain, rain. Thankfully, we had 1500 square feet (!) of covered space to keep our greenware (unfired pots) dry. Between the raindrops and thunderstorms, we ferried ware boards of pottery to the kiln, on foot and eventually by very-slow-moving subaru.  (Turns out, 300 feet is a looong walk when there are 700 pots!)

What a joy to be inside the kiln for the first time, getting a feel for the space, assessing the layout of our new shelves. This first kiln loading was a long one for a number of reasons, not the least of which was determining the best use and layout of the kiln shelves we had, and painting every one with kiln wash (alumina + kaolin mixture) to protect them from dripping, melting ash. (A huge thank-you here to our kiln shelf shareholders for helping us purchase all these beautiful new and new-to-us shelves!) We were also cutting posts (pieces of brick) on the wet saw as we went, and pausing here and there to take it all in . . . I had forgotten how much excitement and promise and well, let's face it, tediousness towards the end, comes with loading a kiln. It had been over four years since either of us had last loaded a wood-kiln, and it felt beyond great to be back in the swing.

All said and done, 720 pieces of pottery, large and small, fit onto 121 kiln shelves.  And then we bricked up the door . . .

thank you kiln shelf share holders!

Last spring, we launched a little program we liked calling our "CSA."   And we were overwhelmed and delighted by the support it got!   We sold 85 kiln shelf shares to over 60 different people from all over the country, including people who knew us and people who didn't! This winter, thanks to the generosity of the 'shareholders', we were able to purchase beautiful new and new-to-us silicon carbide kiln shelves for our new wood kiln!  We love that we were able to get the bulk of the shelves from a small, independent business in the rural midwest.  (Thanks, Billy!)  The shelves arrived over a period of a couple of weeks, packed snugly in very heavy crates, and are now waiting patiently at the kiln site for us to be ready to use them.  (Soon, very soon.)

A HUGE thank- you to those of you who helped us get to this point.  We are so grateful for your support and encouragement, and will be thanking you in the form of new pottery very soon . . .

If you have questions about your share, or our kiln shelf shares program, please feel free to contact us at

fall favorites

It's been a busy fall here on our "pottery farm," as we like to call home. (For now, at least, the primary crop on this farm is pottery.) It's hard to believe it's already time to put on the flannel-lined work pants in front of the wood stove! But there's nothing like the impending winter to motivate the outside projects, and we've been working steadily on all fronts.

Over the past few weeks we have been:

~enjoying visitors to the milkshed gallery during leaf-peeping season, including the first-ever Foliage Studio Tour (a success!)

~loving when said visitors bring their dogs to play with our oh-so-very-exuberant beast rascal puppy

~sending out kiln shelf share certificates to our "csa" members (number 70 just went out this morning, wow!)

~loving the last of the fall flowers in our vases (or collaboratively-made tumblers, as the case may be)

~putting the finishing touches on two wedding registries for two fabulous couples

~traveling to a good friend's kiln for a kiln-firing sleep-over to complete one of those registries (thank you, Tiffany!!)

~packing and shipping and packing and shipping, and occasionally finding treats left-behind by the co-op in our recycled packing peanuts (most recently a small water-based nail polish for our potters' fingers???)

~oh, by the way, one of those boxes of pottery went to the Artisans Gallery in Northampton, Massachusetts, for the 4th Annual Cup and Mug Invitational, where you'll find a great collection of handmade mugs and cups, november 11th-december 31st

~most of all, building the massive collection of bricks that is the chimney of our kiln! (we're really gaining on it- more on that soon)

~and most importantly, truly enjoying the work, especially when that means being home together for an uninterrupted string of days, working steadily towards this wild wood-fired dream of ours . . .

our CSA . . . community supported art

Introducing Kiln Shelf Shares!

We’re hoping to raise funds for purchasing kiln shelves by selling Kiln Shelf Shares. This is essentially a pre-buy of pottery, like a traditional CSA, where the farmers (potters) get funds ahead of time to grow (make) their “crop!”

The very large kiln we’re building will require 100 or more sturdy shelves for stacking our pottery upon during the firings. These shelves are made of silicon carbide, and are able to withstand many years of firings in a molten environment . . . which also makes them fairly expensive.

How it works: -You buy a Kiln Shelf Share for $60. -We buy a kiln shelf. -You get a $90 certificate for our pottery! (Redeemable when the kiln is completed and fired- we’ll send you an invitation to our first kiln opening.)

Shares are available in our online shop, or over the phone or via email.

A few more details: You can purchase as many shares as you like, either for yourself, or as a gift for someone.  (Weddings and birthdays?!) We will mail you or your giftee a certificate for the Kiln Shelf Share. Shares are redeemable at our Studio, or in our Online Shop at (Your share can go toward shipping costs.) Shares will not expire, but can not apply to custom orders or offers of free shipping.

Please be in touch if you have any questions.  Thanks for supporting Community Supported Art!