Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Earthquake, and exhibition preparations.

Just a view of pots in our little gallery.

As I write this blog I feel my computer chair violently pushed from side to side. I think that it is Ginger the cat doing something savage to the chair back, he has been behaving oddly for the last hour or so. Really clingy, wanting to clamber onto my lap at any opportunity. The motion of the chair is too strong. I see the lights begin to sway, and I realize that we are having another earthquake. It goes on for about a minute.

My electric kiln is nearing the peak temperature of a crystalline glaze firing, and I am concerned about that. Inside are 3 biggish pots with a 4th one up above them on a half shelf. I wonder if it will be dislodged, and there is no way of knowing until the kiln is unloaded in nearly two days time.

The earthquake makes me uneasy. It was not serious for us, but it had a side to side motion that was powerful. I wonder about Christchurch, and if they have suffered a major one there. It takes a few minutes for the news to come through, and it sounds serious. A shallow magnitude 6.3 close to the city that has caused some buildings to fall in central Christchurch. The hospital has been damaged and has had to be evacuated, there is a report of a church collapsing, water mains bursting, power and phones going down. I think that the tower of the cathedral in Cathedral Square has fallen.

Christchurch is a 4 hour drive North of us, so we have got away lightly, but I feel so sorry for the people closer to the quake, and am sad for those who have been battling with aftershocks that resulted from the earthquake of 4th September, and who's nerves and lives are already frayed.

I was going to post an update about the work that I am doing for the 4th March exhibition that I will be having with Manu Berry in Dunedin, but I think I will finish this now as I am a bit upset thinking about what has just happened further up the country.

Below are some photos that I had intended to include with a happier post. Kind thoughts to you all, P.

Ginger having a sleep.

Pots waiting to be glazed.

Drying the next kiln load of pots on top of the kiln as it fires.

More pots to glaze.

These are old glaze catching saucers. The white coating is alumina, and it helps prevent the run off glaze from sticking to the saucer. I can reuse the saucers a few times if they are not too badly damaged by run off glaze.

Two tall pots with freshly applied glaze that are waiting to go in the kiln.
Note that they have glaze catching saucers to catch glaze that runs off in the firing.

This is how the tall pot that was on the right in the previous photo looked when it had been fired.

A teapot just out of the kiln. Note that it is still positioned on a little stand in its glaze catching saucer.

A vase fresh from the kiln, notice the run off glaze. I will have to carefully separate the pot from the stand that it is on, then grind off the run off glaze.

Nigella Stopit found a bucket to sit in that was under an old chair outside.


Pat - Arkansas said...

8:44 p.m. 2/21 USA Have just read the news on the Internet here. I thought of you immediately and was so glad to read your post. I read on the news that the damage in Christchurch is extensive, with more than a few fatalities. I will be keeping the people of South Island NZ in my thoughts and prayers, as I will you and Laura. ~ Pat

cindy shake said...

We just read about the earthquake on CNN and I immediately thought of you!! I am happy to read you are OK!! So sorry to hear of the damage in Christchurch and especially of the fatalities. We are used to earthquakes here in Alaska but they are always un-nerving. Our animals, especially the rabbit can always sense an earthquake before it happens, he thumps, thumps, thumps the floor!!

The pots are lovely Peter and I hope the firing is OK...again so sorry to hear about the distress in your part of the world. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

ang said...

hey peter good to hear you're ok I'm watching the news now it's very scary and very tragic...give ginger lots of hugs you'll both feel better and i do hope all your work isn't lost in that firing...

Christine Hester Smith said...

I'v just heard the news on the radio this morning and immediately rushed to check your blog. So good to hear that you are ok yourself, but awful for you all and especially for the people of Christchurch. I hope the pots survive, cats recover their composure and there are steadier days ahead. Thinking of you. Firing a kiln during an earthquake, whatever next?!*

Mieke van Sambeeck said...

The earthquake news has been going all afternoon here in australia, looks really bad, All the best for your pots in the kiln, but hey, if that is all you would lose thats not so bad.
my hart goes out to the people who suffer.

gz said...

Glad to hear you're fine, hope the pots will be too. FRiends from Wales are in Christchurch, thankfully all OK.

Trust the cats.....they know

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so very glad you are OK but know the whole event has to be so upsetting. So far the news says there are many casualities. I am so sorry and the NZ people are in my prayers.
I have another blog buddy on the north island. Do take care Peter.
Hope your kiln pots survived and that this is the last of the earthquakes.

Judy Shreve said...

Oh Peter - how scary. I am so glad that you and Laura are okay! And my heart goes out to those in ChristChurch.
I lived in Los Angeles for a while and didn't like earthquakes at all! Hope there are no aftershocks of any consequence & ChristChurch can recover quickly. Best to you.

Peter said...

Dear All,
Thank you for your kind comments. It has been really nice to hear from you and to be able to think of you too. Yesterday, the day of the quake, was a really weird and disturbing day. There have been a lot of aftershocks in the Christchurch area, about three of them were strong enough for us to shake a little bit here. Sadly quite a number of people in Christchurch have been killed or injured in the quake (there were estimates of about 65 dead last night) and about 100 are thought to be still trapped in buildings. It must be so hard for the people there.
Anyway, I must go and mix up some glazes for my next firing. I will know tomorrow morning when I unload the kiln if there was any shaking up of the contents.
Kind thoughts to you, P.

Armelle said...

Hi Peter, so sorry to hear about the quake, what to say? my prayers to all.
And I am so happy to see your pots ready for the exhibition, they are so lovely.
Best wishes

Angie said...

Heard about the quake and thought of you and Laura ...so glad you are OK but so sorry to hear about Christchurch.

Woderful pots btw ..and so cute feline shots xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Peter, Only just got to a computer but was wondering about you all day yesterday Very glad to hear you are a distance away but blimey the people in the city. What a terrible day for them.
All our good wishes,

Peter said...

Hi Armelle, Angie, and Hannah,
Thank you for your best wishes and kind words, it is lovely to hear from you. A bit late in the evening now, so will have to go to bed as I will be starting another firing first thing (early) in the morning. Lots of aftershocks in Christchurch still, but generally around magnitude 3 point something. We seem to feel the Christchurch ones here when they get to about magnitude 5 and above. A very sombre sort of a day really with thinking of people there.
These times are a real reminder of how important family and friends are. P

Angie said...

Just poped back ...more news is comming through to us ...sound as though there might be as many as 300 lost ...I do hope none of your frieds were lost or affected. xx