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June 2013 Visit from Masakazu Kusakabe

Lucky for us, our dear friend Kusakabe (left) was visiting from Japan to build a kiln in nearby Walpole.  We were delighted that Nancy Selvage, Boston area sculptor and recently retired director of Harvard ceramics program, was able to bring him to Lowell to see our kiln. We are tremendously grateful to Sensei for his generous advice when we were in the design stage; he helped to make our kiln smokeless.

By examining deposits on the walls of the kiln, as well as pottery from recent firings, Sensei determined how the heat flows through the kiln and which areas are hot or cool.  We will experiment with the height of the bag wall, a loose brick wall that acts as a buffer between the fire box and the wares, to more evenly direct the heat. 

  

This little pot stuck to a brick along the bag wall. The ash glaze formed in the firing dripped down and acted as a glue.  Placing wadding, small lumps of clay mixture under each pot, helps remedy this, but our experience has shown that sometimes that does not prevent the sticking entirely.

A shout out of thanks to Sensei for the firing tips! We learned a lot from this short visit, including how to better operate the flu. Do you see Ganesh sitting on the flu shelf?

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Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 3:08 PM by rackm

Comments

Lisa loves pottery said:

I love what you're doing there. Everyone should have the opportunity to express themselves through crafting. Thank you!
# September 26, 2013 4:21 PM
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