U OF RAKU

spiritlinepottery.com
EARLY RAKU O-POT 2012, spiritlinepottery.com

Where there's smoke, there's fire, right?
I never thought I'd be so lucky...I love what I do.
becoming a ceramicist has been a process...messy...and fun!

I couldn't have done it without Al, whose famous first words were:
"...go ahead...why not take a pottery class? ...you might like it..."
Having a partner who likes pulling red-hot ceramics from the raku kiln
is like winning a lifestyle lottery.

This is a photo of an early raku firing at the Spirit Line Pottery studio.
That's Al with the welding tongs, in January of 2014.




I'm Kate, a self-taught potter in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest
who makes 'ceramic homes' for orchids
and their adventurous owners!

I started in the summer of 2011,
with a few electric wheel lessons
in a professional clay studio.
I learned to love southwestern style terra cotta objects.

Soon, I got a funky, post modern kick wheel on craigslist.
It was a gorgeous wooden beast,
with a built-in bench seat that was oddly tall.
I would've felt like queen of the garage up there,
if only it had been level.
Instead, the post modern pottery beast groaned and rocked when I kicked,
and made a knocking sound against the concrete . . .
. . . which caused the dog to bark at the front door!


1970's STYLE KICK WHEEL

I fell in love with it anyway, and began throwing with such joy...
...followed by kicking...lots of kicking.
I changed shoes and became a potter obsessed with getting up-to-speed.
Soon, my joyful abandon
had turned into an epic post modern grudge match.

As the "week of the beast" progressed I tried desperately
to achieve the RPMs necessary to raise a pot up.
My left leg was bored, my right leg was tired,
and my head swam with ideas of converting
the round kicker mechanism below to a bicycle style pedal system.

I tried cleaning the long center spindle with WD-40...
meanwhile, the floppy little spoon rests were adding up fast.

I was learning why the beast had been such a bargain,
there was no 'splash pan' . . .
that big plastic tub under the turn table that keeps the potter dry.
After a week of mudwrestling,
the post modern pottery beast went down the road --except this time it was free.

I found a used electric wheel on craigslist that was only 15-years old.
This changed the shape of my work from lumpy forms to functional objects;

. . . but everything changed when I heard about firing raku.


unglazed orchid pots, raku orchid pots
RECENT RAKU FIRING, SPIRIT LINE POTTERY STUDIO

We went downtown to Seattle Pottery Supply for the raku firings for a year.
Found this raku kiln on craigslist in 2013, and still love it.
We like the way it splits open on hinges for removing red-hot pottery safely.
The photo below shows the raku kiln's heavy steel cage and fireproof batting underneath.


spiritlinepottery.com, custom ceramics
RECENT RAKU FIRING, SPIRIT LINE POTTERY STUDIO

We made these for a live art exhibit @
the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, February 2014,
for the NW Orchid Society!


spiritlinepottery.com
2014  ORCHID INSTALLATION @ NW FLOWER AND GARDEN SHOW

These 4.5" tall O-Pots were designed with 2-holes to hang on this wire frame.
This was the beginning of custom design service @ the studio
We offer free design services on our CUSTOM DESIGN page @ Spirit Line Pottery. com

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