I bought a used kiln off of craigslist. It is a bit small and old but it is a perfect starter kiln. It is a Cress electric kiln and can go to cone 8. This will be a change from everything I have done before. I have never had my own kiln and I have never fired a kiln (gas or electric).
My new (old) kiln
Now I am getting a 220 V line put in so I can fire my work at home. I will be borrowing a wheel from a friend and getting some cone 5 clays and glazes from the relatively nearby Laguna clay company. I hope to be able to begin making work by October.
I have always loved to make things, mostly physical functional things but also stories and good times. From the time I was little, my father always had a woodworking shop. At first it was a hobby of his and then it became his source of income, and now in retirement, he still has his own shop where he can go to build and tinker. He would find an interest and pursue it. From playing guitar in a band in high school to drawing to photography to cabinetry, he is always learning and mastering new things. I am proud to share this trait with him.
My first art was drawing and sadly it is one of my weaker skills. I have gone on to develop skills in ceramics, woodworking (especially woodturning), mead brewing, and writing. I am continually being drawn into new crafts and would love the opportunity to explore bookbinding, painting, blacksmithing, armoring, and jewelry making.
One of the greatest challenges in the crafts that I am drawn to is the startup cost. I have a modest workshop with a few tools, but the power tools, kilns, forges, and materials can add up to a significant amount. Despite this, I am ready to make more of a commitment to my workshop. I am ready to spend the money and time to pursue art more fully. This blog will catalog that effort, as I work to expand my skills and make some sense out of what it means to be a functional artist in the time and place I live. I hope you will follow along with me and chime in when you have something to contribute.