Archive for August, 2006

Dancing with Fire

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Finally, thanks to Jenny and Pär who took over the cameraman’s job, you can now see me spraying soda into the soda kiln, too. Enjoy.

BTW it looks kind of dangerous, but really is not. No need to worry for me.. :-)

Photos of Me Working the Soda Kiln

Sunday, August 20th, 2006

Okay, this is supposed to be a pottery blog, but since some of my long lost friends have found me here, and they wanted to know what I look like now — so here are a few reasonably current photos. In keeping with the pottery theme, though, these are all from a soda firing at Pottery Northwest two months ago — so you’ll also get to see the kiln and the process of how my soda-fired pieces were fired.


figure 1: what kind of phone is that??!

A typical firing cycle is 12 – 13 hours long. We usually start at 8 am, and the whole thing will hopefully be done by 9 pm. We are not busy all the time, though. In fact, most of the time is waiting time — so we get to goof around, like pretending to be talking on a home made phone (figure 1). The phone was the invention of fellow firing crew member Jenny Nelson, who managed to keep herself busy and creative while waiting for the kiln temperature to rise during the early part of the firing.


More Mechanical Rats

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

Or whatever they are…

Greenware. Still drying on my shelves…

Mutant Teapots Masquerading as Mechanical Rats

Saturday, August 19th, 2006

Yeah, I know, the title doesn’t make much sense; neither does the photo — or these two whatever-you-call-’em (animals? things?) in the photo. But who says everything has to make sense?


Or maybe they are rats pretending to be teapots?

Greenware, work-in-progress. Photo taken a week ago, the pieces now have been bisqued, and will probably go into the soda kiln next week. Who knows, they may turn out nice. Maybe even nice enough to be submitted to a teapot show… But will other teapots object? And why would they?

Other Experiments at Vashon Firing

Friday, August 11th, 2006

Besides toying with Chore Boy copper netting and steel wool, I also performed some other experiments in the Vashon Island pit firing last month. Here is a brief summary of these other experiments:


figure 1: unburnished and no terra sig

One experiment involves a piece which was completely unburnished, with no terra sig applied, and with a strongly textured surface from the thickly painted engobe. As you can see, the result (figure 1 above) has a very different quality from those other highly burnished pieces. Nevertheless, it is quite charming in its own way — there’s something simple and bold, and almost more honest about it… (perhaps because it’s less self-consciously trying to be beautiful?)

Packing materials: the usual cast of Chore-Boy, steel wool strands, salted raffia and salted burlap. The visible black and white net-like pattern apparently came from the Chore-Boy netting.


Rediscovering My Past via Google

Friday, August 11th, 2006

A while ago I did a Google search on my name, ‘Hilary Chan’, and turned up a couple unexpected items besides the usual suspects: one was this picture from the website of the Near Eastern Languages Department at the University of Washington. Yeah, it’s true, I did study Uzbek at the U.W., starting Fall of 2000 for one academic year, and then continued on with their intensive summer program in both 2001 and 2002.


Graduate Teaching Assistant David Hunsicker and class member Hilary Chan play roles in modern Uzbek play staged by members of the Summer 2001 Intermediate Uzbek course

Good picture, despite the unauthentic blue jeans that both Dave and I were wearing. More interesting, though, is this other item I found, culled by Google from Nick Gall’s Furl archive: