[Clayart] wood firing, crap pots, critters

Deborah Thuman debthuman at zianet.com
Sat Jul 2 02:10:30 EDT 2016


My botany professor in college also produced maple syrup. Making maple syrup is about as much work as doing a wood fire. Tap trees. Collect sap. Snarl at the critter that gnawed through the sap line. Bring sap to sugar shack. Run sap through reverse osmosis to get rid of half the water. Next, run it through a wood-fired contraption that looks rather like Rube Goldberg’s version of a still. Wood has to be added every 15 minutes. 40 gallons of sap to 1 gallon of syrup. And I gladly pay for the real stuff. 

I fire with gas although there are times when I start to think an electric kiln would be nice even though it’s not practical for us. We would have to build a little house for the electric kiln and run wiring. There was also the cost factor. We could only afford one kiln. It’s really tough to do reduction in an electric kiln although I’m finding it a challenge to do O2 firing in my gas kiln. I’ll get that kiln figured out…. I refuse to be bested by a pile of firebrick and four gas burners. 

I have decided there will be no more bad pots tossed in the dumpster. No, I didn’t get world-class good overnight. Other people have rock gardens, I’m going to have a crock garden. Drill a hole in the bottom of a crappy pot, add potting soil, stick a plant in it. 

I have learned that if I agree to live peacefully with the critters, the critters will refrain from taking a bite out of every piece of fruit on the tree. This afternoon, I got to watch a ground squirrel perform. Ground squirrels look like a combination of squirrel, chipmunk, prairie dog, and a touch of jackrabbit tossed in. I leave a container of water for the squirrel, and the squirrel eats the chocolate plants (you can’t kill those things no matter what you do and they spread like crazy) and leaves my herbs, tomatoes and peppers alone. I got to watch two baby bunnies. They leave my crops alone, and we feed them along with the birds. There’s a quail block, a bird feeder with a cage around it so only small birds can feed there, birdseed and cracked corn scattered on the ground. There’s a chicken watering contraption for larger birds and bunnies. The little birds drink from the drip plates under the pots of herbs. 

I did a glaze fire on Thursday. We couldn’t unload on Friday because the kiln was still hot. It hit 100+ on Thursday so I had a slow cool by default. 

Mel is being mean again. I was supposed to say that, right? 

Deb Thuman
debthuman at zianet.com <mailto:debthuman at zianet.com>
https://debthumanblog.wordpress.com <https://debthumanblog.wordpress.com/>
I’m not what happened to me. I’m what I chose to become. 






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