Happy February, my fellow art lovers and ceramic connoisseurs! It’s the month of love, and to keep warm during these chilly times, we love to flex our creative spirit. We’re out of the darkest nights and shortest days, and entering our snowy period. Get ready to make some gorgeous pieces bundled up with a warm beverage!
We have a lot of fun events coming up this month and next!
An Electric Kiln Workshop will be held February 24 on Saturday, 8:00 am - 1:00 pm, taught by Stone Leaf Pottery owners Bob and Ingrid King. The cost is $75 or Free with purchase of one new kiln from Stone Leaf Pottery in the last two years! One kiln = one EKW.
Join local professional potter, Peri Charlifu, when he teaches Mocha Diffusion at Stone Leaf! The workshop will be on Saturday, March 9, 2024, 10am - 1pm. We will be working on leather hard Cone 5 B-Mix clay. Formulas will be provided, mixed, and available for use. Bring a leather hard Laguna Clay cone 5 B-Mix piece, or if you prefer, order either a tumbler or a bottle no later than Wednesday, March 6th and Peri will provide that for an extra $10 fee. The workshop is $50; firing is not included, but is available for an extra fee.
You might’ve noticed we have a box accepting donations beneath our front counter! For just ONE MORE WEEK, we’re accepting donations for Empty Bowls at Bear Creek High School. Donate your glazed ceramic bowls, mugs and other handmade pieces. Donated pieces will be auctioned off at the Empty Bowls charity event with proceeds going to the Action Center. Email email@example.com for more information!
Need a break from staring at clay? Check out the 45th Annual Valley Visual Art Show in Carbondale! From late January through February 22, folks can come out to see a gorgeous collection of works by local artists. Here’s their website for more information!
We’ve also started a Tip of the Month section, highlighting tips by our very own Ingrid King, owner of Stone Leaf Pottery. She’s a seasoned ceramic artist and potter, and we’re so excited to share her knowledge.
Ingrid’s Tip of the Month for February is on pyrometric cones!
“Pyrometric cones are amazing devices, used to indicate the temperature of the interior of the pot walls being fired in a kiln. Think of it like baking. Just because your turkey is sitting in a 350° F oven doesn’t necessarily mean the middle has reached that temperature yet. You have to check in other ways. A pyrometer tells you the temperature of the air inside the kiln, but the pots need time with that temperature to be mature. Cones will bend, indicating the temperature of the inside of the pot walls in the kiln.
“I have used standard cones in cone packs since I bought my first electric kiln in 1972. In those days, kiln sitters had not yet been invented, and kilns with electric controllers/computers and consistent performing elementswere even farther behind. Therefore, I had cone packs near the peephole plugs so I could check on what the kiln was doing. I also placed cone packs in several places all over the kiln to track cool spots and hot spots. I glaze-fired to cone 8, and designed my own clay and glazes. Pots glazed with glazes that would perform well in cooler areas versus hotter areas of the kiln were placed accordingly.
“I would write notes on the underside after a kiln load was unloaded if there were any issues.
“Recently Mike Christopherson, named by Skutt as one of the best kiln repair people in North America (yes, he’s in the Denver area) told me that self supporting cones are the most accurate. I looked it up on the Orton website. Yes! That is their position as well. Thank you Mike!
“Make sure you place any of the self supporting cones you use on a cookie that will safely go to the cone you are firing to. Brushing kiln wash on the cookie may help release the cones after firing, but often a cone will fuse to the clay under it and be permanently attached.”
Want more information about pyrometric cones? Here’s a helpful YouTube video by Jane Scott Ceramics!
Some reminders for our customers:
Snow days! Please be aware that during the winter months, we may have weather closures. Our first priority is staff and customer safety, so if it’s looking like the roads are perilous, we want you to know about it! Be sure to check our social media, website and voicemail for weather-related schedule changes.
Slabmat will be available at NCECA again this year, March 20-23! Swing by and say hello, we look forward to seeing you!
Onto our specials:
Out of celebration for Valentine’s Day this month, the clay, glaze and tool specials this month are all tied into one: the WHEEL OF LOVE!
We love the stuff we sell, and we love our customers, so we’re choosing to share all of our stock with you! Each slot on the wheel will contain an amazing prize or discount on tools, glazes, clay and other products sold in store. One spin per customer. Prizes are limited to in-stock items and may not be combined with other discounts. As you know, our shelves contain a treasure trove of pottery retail, and with unique discounts to boot, we’re very excited for this month’s special.
Next time you’re in the store, don’t forget to give this lovely addition a spin!
That’s all for now, folks! Happy potting and stay warm in this chilly weather, and we look forward to seeing you around the store.
Elise and the Stone Leaf Pottery Crew
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