I have been throwing cone 10 clay almost exclusively since the end of December in preparation for my upcoming trip to Medalta in April to fire off their salt and soda kilns. I have made a lot of stuff in that time, but I am in that place right now where I don't know if I have made enough, or if I have made too much. Each kiln is 20cu feet and I am splitting the firing with my friend Susan (aka Sooooozin). So I have a full 20cu feet to fill, plus all the extras like on bag walls, the space under the bottom shelves etc. The end of my last bag of clay was actually where I started to make really good pots (I hope – I still need to trim them). They are gnarly and full of texture just waiting for the salt to juice them up and soften all that craggy goodness. It would be ok if the kilns were here, but alas, they are 3 hours away and I need to transport them down there, and if I have left overs, I really can't do anything with them except wait for another high fire opportunity. I think I may just go for broke and make as much as possible. If I have way too much, then so be it, at least I will have lots to choose from. I got a bit stuck on the sgrafitto, so there is a LOT of it, but everything from now on is plain old clay that will get flashing slips or shinos.
Other than that, a few students and myself are going to put together an open house sometime in early to mid June to help boost the enrolment at the studio. It is located in an industrial area in the city's south east and the feeling is that some people are put off by the location. It is not in a trendy area with lots of cafes and boutiques. It is not in a residential area either. It is in a light industrial/business park area and because of this, we think that some people are nervous about it. It is not a bad area, it just isn't very busy at night, and it can feel a little isolated. The building is a Quonset, and that may not give it a very homey feel either. But you take what you can get in this town. Rents can be a bit steep for small business owners, let a lone a pottery studio owner. If we have an open house in June on a nice sunny day, when the birds are chirping, then we can open up the very large overhead door to let as much light in and make it look inviting. We can have demonstrations going on throughout the day with perhaps a stinky raku demo to attract the pyromaniacs and give away small raku bowls to the attendees. I really hate doing raku firings, but it does have that WOW factor as well as immediate gratification. I always go home feeling like I have been camping and sitting around wet smokey fire pits, but without the added bonus of smores. I usually also look like a bit bedraggled, my face is all red, my hair usually gets a bit fried from looking into the kiln to check glaze melt, and some article of clothing always gets a burn mark or two. Ya, raku and me are not friends. So, if we blitz our FB friends, our twitter followers (of which don't have), our personal e-mail lists etc, as well as advertise in all the free weekly magazines we can, then hopefully we will have a good day. If nobody shows, then it will just be a regular day at the studio. More on this to follow.