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Big Bertha

Posted by admin on October 19, 2011

I have been busy working towards the upcoming exhibition (see home page). I have finished my little tree kangaroo, and is now looking less bear like, and more like a T.roo. I will post up a photo soon. I have also started carving a palm nut, which is vase shaped and has an excellent organic convoluted texture. Today I will try to fire up my large top-hat gas kiln. It has needed a bit of repair, and I haven't fired before, so hopefully it will behave itself so I can fire my T.roo for that exhibition....

23rd October... No news of the kiln firing yet as I thought that the pieces weren't dry enough (due to all the wet weather we have had) to risk putting them in BB yet. Hubby and I loaded BB last night, and only lit one burner for a short time to warm the kiln. Today I will light the one burner on and turn it off repeatedly to slow down the rate of heating, as even with the one burner on low, the rate of heating still goes up too rapidly. I am very nervous about the whole deal and have come to the realisation that I may not have any of those pieces in BB for the exhibition.

 24th October... I'm a very tired sausage this morning. Last night (or morning I should say) I was up until 1.30 firing Big Bertha. The firing wasn't as reckless as I anticipated, which was good. What wasn't good, was the fact I saw something suspiciously like the belly or bum of the tree kangaroo on a part of the kiln shelf away from the T.roo. Doesn't bode well for my furry little friend. Anyway, I will have to be patient all day as the kiln will take all day to cool down. Oh the trials and tribulations of a ceramic artist!

Good and bad news from the bowels of Big Bertha. Thankfully my Tree kangaroo survived, but my palm nut that I took 3 days to carve, shattered its base and blew its bits all over my glazed acacia pod, so that was ruined too. I can grind off the bits and reglaze it, but I can't put it in this exhibition, as I don't have time to refire it. It would be a terrible waste to fire that big kiln for only 2 pieces. The palm nut cannot be resurrected though, however I will try to grind off any undercuts and make a multi piece slip casting mould from it, so all those hours of carving and my sore arm has not gone to waste. I must say that it has been very stressful working towards this exhibition. I haven't had much go my way this time. Hubby says he can't believe that I perservere and that "it would drive him nuts"! This morning I will deliver my T. Roo and a couple of fungi pieces into the Tablelands Regional Gallery ready for the opening night this Friday night. If anyone is around FNQ, please feel free to come to our opening night- it is always a great social event (see home page).


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