Saturday, April 4, 2020

Just Claying

Hello, and good morning on day (I've lost count) of self isolation.

So, like you, I am stuck at home. Going a little stir-crazy, if I am honest.

This is very counter productive, I find. The irony is I should have lots of time to work on my creative projects now that pretty-much everything is cancelled in my life. But my creative drive is gone. My mind is busy trying to wrap around what is happening with COVID-19, when will we be back to normal and how do I keep my family safe?

I feel like I have wasted too many days not embracing this opportunity as a gift of time.

This is a great time to get creative with our tools, our time, and our process. If we cannot do things the way we normally do, what a great opportunity to find a way to do them differently.

For us clay people, we can work at home, but firing the work becomes an issue. I would love to return to pit firing or build myself a wood burning kiln if I had acreage. But alas, I live in the city and I don't live in a house that can support a kiln. For those of you in a similar situation I can suggest this; keep claying at home. At some point we will be back in the studio (our studio or your own community studio). At which time check with the technician and see if they will let you fire your work with them. But it will be very important to convince the technician (the one who is responsible for the kiln) that your work will not cause any problems for them.

So make sure you know the following:

- What clay you are working with (bring the bag to show the tech.)
- What cone it fires to (low, medium, high)
- There is no trapped air in your project
- Your project is not overly heavy or large (extra fees may apply in this case)
- Most community studios require that you take a class to fire with them. In these extenuating circumstances, you should let them know where you learned your clay techniques from.
- If you are glazing your greenware, bring the glaze container as well to show the tech. what you used.
- If you made your own, bring the recipe.

They still reserve the right to deny the firing.
But the making is still fun. And even if you don't keep the work, the practice all counts.

So, keep "claying", my friends.

Hope to see you in the studio soon.

Here are some links I came across that may be worth checking out. To be clear, I am not associated with these, other than a part of the Facebook group:

Facebook: Clay buddies group

Facebook: East Van Kiln Co-op

Tim Martin shared how to make a kiln.

Kiln rental at the Shadbolt Centre

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