It is the end of an era, and the beginning of a new one. After seven great years potting in New Hampshire, I have taken a giant and definitive step in the direction of Vermont . . . Nathan and I dismantled the Eaton kiln! Over five days, we unstacked some 3000+ bricks (at least 1000 of them at 8 lbs apiece, I might add!) from the structure of a large gas kiln, moved them into a rental truck, and drove them 120+ miles over the Connecticut river and into central Vermont. We figure this means we each moved 4 tons of material at least 3 times . . . yup, that's a whopping 12 tons of heavy stuff passing through our hands. No wonder we were tired! Although we didn't dawdle in putting the recycled brick to use . . . just two days later, we were using it to begin the floor of our new kiln!
In a lot of ways, I think kilns are the center of a potter's life. A kiln has a way of determining the way a potter pursues his or her work, the style, the workload; essentially, a kiln can dictate life's rhythm. I am so grateful for the life that was shaped by this kiln; in so many ways, it brought me to where I am today. (I might not have met Nathan if it weren't for the pots fired in this kiln!) I think about the hundreds- perhaps thousands!- of pieces I made over seven years, the wonderfully supportive friends I got to know through my work. I think about how my forms and pieces changed and grew since 2003, and what I learned as a result of having to figure it all out on my own. But before I completely gloss over the past, I must say that I will not miss the late nights and very early mornings lighting the burners, or the lost sleep over high winds and the nightmares about fires and the kiln roof being blown off. (Yes, as it turns out, there is such a thing as a kiln nightmare!) And I am almost certain I will not miss driving unfired pottery over two mountain passes between VT and NH to continue firing this kiln while we live and work in another state. It is surely the end of my New Hampshire potter era . . . now onto the new one!
I would like to thank all of the great friends and customers who supported me and my work during this chapter of my life. My gratitude is immense.