I completed some pots for a wood firing in February, took photos for the blog with the intention of posting something interesting, and on the morning of the 15th of February, whilst the kiln was just passing through 600 Celsius, Laura had a message from her parent's doctor to say that it would be a good idea for her to travel up to the North Island as soon as possible, because her father was "fading". He had been in care for quite some time and not at all well, so this wasn't entirely unexpected. Travel arrangements were hastily made, Laura would join her brother and sister in law in Christchurch and they would fly to the North Island together the next day. As I had started the firing at 3.25am, I was able to get it finished by early afternoon, and Laura got packed and ready to go, but news came in the early hours of the next morning that Laura's father had died. Laura hopes to be back here tomorrow after a very busy time helping sort out the things that have to be done after someone dies, and spending time caring for her mother.
|Laura and her mum and dad when they visited us in 2003|
Unfortunately I was not able to travel up to the North Island myself, so have "held the fort" down here and kept cats fed and the gallery open most days.
Laura's father, Andrew Todd, will be greatly missed.
Sadly, on the day of the funeral, Brian, the black cat that was making himself at home here, got run over on our busy main road. His twin brother, Smaug, was very upset for the first day at the loss of his brother (he probably saw it happen), but seems to have settled into a new routine here. Nigella Stopit doesn't approve, but she will get used to Smaug eventually!
|Smaug and Brian playing together on our shed roof.|
As you can see, February was a rather sad month for us, however there was also much to be thankful for. It has been good to have our little gallery, and some really delightful people have dropped in and have made life enjoyable. A lovely couple from France, with their very young daughter, bought a teapot to take back to their café.
|A mug by Sebastian on his first day at the potter's wheel!|
We are lucky with family, friends, and those that we meet through our gallery.
Here are a few of the pots from the 15 February wood firing.
|I like this runny ash glaze over the white matte glaze.|
|A large, heavy bowl for bread making.|
|The ash glaze on its own looks nice on this thrown and modified bowl.|
|Copper red two person teapot.|
|Copper red two person teapot. (Holds 3 standard cups.)|
The 15 February wood firing was OK, some good pots came out of it. Some failures too, but any failures were mostly due to a glaze recipe that I foolishly "adjusted" rather than anything the kiln did wrong. The kiln actually behaved extremely well, and we had very good control of temperature rise and atmosphere. The kiln used about 7 or 8 wheelbarrow loads of firewood for a 9 hour firing with much of it in reduction.