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Journal

News from Dowd House Studios: places to find our pottery, exhibitions, classes & workshops, new forms and exciting projects.

Filtering by Tag: sam dowd

Soda Firing: Part 1

Jenny Dowd

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I've been building up a lot of pottery over the past year to get ready for soda firing. This is a process that Sam and I both really like, however, it's a lot of work with a crazy amount of steps so we don't do it very often. This time it's been over a year since we've fired this kiln, and we've built up enough work for 3 kiln loads! 

I use porcelain for a smooth white canvas and to ensure bright crisp colors. I start out by layering stains onto the bisque-ware; cobalt oxide (blues) and iron sulfate (browns and golds). These stains end up washy and atmospheric, I have an idea of how they will look but there is a large unknown element which I really appreciate.

After staining, I glaze the inside of the pieces. The soda firing process makes an overall glaze- near the end of the firing, soda ash and water is injected into the kiln. This glaze flies around and makes the final look even more unpredictable, the surfaces end up beautiful and juicy, sometimes lightly textured. Because of this process, wadding must be added to the bottom of the pots so they don't stick to the kiln shelves. (Adding the wadding is aways the point at which I am reminded how much work is ahead.) The wadding lifts the pieces up like little feet and can be knocked off after the firing.

Sam is the one who does all the work firing the kiln, it's a long day but there's something energizing about a fiery kiln. The firing is about 14 hours and then the kiln cools for 2 - 3 days before we open it. 

I'm never super excited about the results after the firing, but I see a lot of potential. The atmospheric quality of the blue and brown stains is exciting, it's a great layer for the next step... stay tuned, they aren't finished!

The Art of Love 2017

Jenny Dowd

The 2nd Annual Plate Auction, The Art of Love, was held this past Thursday evening. Art and community came together in a beautiful event and fundraiser for Jackson's Community Entry Services

Sam made all of the ceramic plates and in all the time it took, I never managed to get a photo of him working!

The plates were distributed to 45 local artists who each donated their time and talent to decorate a plate.

Sam not only made all the plates, he also decorated one, his "Fish Bowl" is on the left, and my "Spiral" is on the right.

Throughout the evening plates were available by silent auction, while a select few were part of the live auction.

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I enjoy the spirit of this event, and am happy to know that by doing what I do- I can help support this important community service!

Takin' it to the Streets

Jenny Dowd

Here it is, the last minute... I've been working on some new forms to replenish my pottery inventory and get ready for the fair on Sunday! Tomorrow is Takin' it to the Streets, a local's art fair on the Jackson town square and Sam and I will be there with lots of pottery. And teapots fresh from the kiln... 

This fair is part of Jackson's Fall Arts Festival, so there's lots going on. The fair is made up of over 40 local artists and will be on the street around the town square. Meanwhile there are a few yummy options also happening in the square. Taste of the Tetons is one of my favorite events of the year- local chefs create awesome culinary treats, it's always fun to try their new and favorite items! Plus, the Rotary Supper Club hosts "Sips on the Square," wine tasting and silent auction. 

It's a great day, if you are in Jackson, we hope to see you there. Grab a little food, a little wine and a little art!

Jackson Town Square, 10 - 4, Sunday September 10th

Mini Maker Faire

Jenny Dowd

It's time for the Jackson Hole Mini Maker Faire! If you are in town this weekend be sure to stop by the Teton Science School from 12 - 4pm on Saturday where Sam and I will be joining over 30 Makers.

Sam will be teaching basic welding skills, these photos are from last year's booth, check it out and make your own garden tool.

I will be offering the opportunity to squish, squash and form things with clay. Last year I taught basic hand-building techniques and participants contributed to a community still life.

There will be lots to learn, come by and be surprised! 

Holiday Sales!

Jenny Dowd

It's that special time of year, my days are frantically full of making pottery, finishing orders, and all the time wondering why I didn't get started on everything earlier...

Sam finished a new batch of "2nd chance pots," pilsners and mugs with funny underglaze drawings. The photos below are from right before they went in the kiln. This batch includes Disco Yeti and Skiing Yeti plus the antics of sea serpents, aliens, monsters, crabs and dinosaurs!

We will be in one more Jackson sale this month, so if you are in town come by The Rose for a drink and an evening of shopping!

And of course, if you have your eye on something and can't see us in person, give us a shout. We are happy to ship that perfect pottery gift! Just email me at: hello@dowdhousestudios.com