Dango…

 

…one of the Japanese words for wads when wood firing pottery.  Wads are the little balls of clay that rest under each and every piece in my kiln, making sure that the pieces don’t stick to the shelves, the shelves don’t stick to the stilts (bricks that stack in between the shelves), lids don’t stick to jars, etc.

 

 

 

Luck has it that there are many coffee houses in Shepherdstown WV that are more than happy to share their wealth of used grounds, which are mixed with clay and silica grog to make the best smelling wadding around.  Glazing, wadding, then stacking…

 

After stacking, the door is built brick by brick, and the next morning early, flame hits twig, and we’re off!  (That’s tomorrow!)

A few pals are coming to stoke, soup ingredients are ready to go, and the wood is split and stacked.  Autumn is cooperating with a full-splendor show of leaves, and a gorgeous weekend on the horizon.  What more could a person want?

Beginnings….

Nine  years ago, I met my mentor and friend, Jack Troy, potter, writer, and  curious-about-all-things artist, while he was teaching clay at Juniata College, and quickly became his studio tech in the college Pot Shop.  One of my memories from that autumn includes the day that he told his students to “Get With the Program,” and buy books for his class over the internet.  I’ve pulled out his quote regularly as fuel to transition from Luddite to tech savvy.

So as the wood stove crackles nearby, this old fashioned potter moves yet again towards the 21st century.  Thanks, Jack, for the prod.