Wednesday 14th November

Slight chaos is reigning in the studio

I’m getting ready to fill a kiln on Sunday for a bisque firing, I’ve a mixture of slip cast  and press moulded peat slices. I’ve been using a couple of metal tools to explore metal tool marks on the clay, as the tairsgeir would mark the peat slices.

Saturday 17th

I’ve spent a whole day in the studio, I’ve been moving things around in the drying room to optimise dryness for tomorrow and made 4 press moulded small slabs. I would say 4 press moulds took 6 hours.

Sunday 18th

I spent a couple of hours in the studio, mostly loading the kiln – Jeff, for a 1000 degree bisque fire, that takes 21/2 days in this kiln which cools very slowly, it will fire for 12 hours and cool for the rest of the time. I finished and dried 13 peat slices in all, 3 slip cast and 5 large and 5 half sized press moulded slabs. These 3 slip cast are open at the top but I may turn the mould over when draining and enclose the end for the next batch. I though it may be handy to have a few open ones. The press moulded ones take a week to dry minimum probably. I put a ready made one in the drying room and the top came off it, so they need to be dried in stages. The slip cast ones can be dry in 2-3 days, but I can only get one out a day unless I have a full day.

Loading kiln with William in tow

I included some bungels to be fired (clod of turf that is used as a missile, for pelting with Shetland) Pg 43 MacFarlane, Landmarks. These were the small slices I cut and left onsite and were covered in leaves, animal prints and some of them I pressed into the old nails from the light railway and roots growing over the path.

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