Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


am sitting here with watering eyes, itchy nose after all that packing we did yesterday with hay and paper of our pots, to send to baroda. in between i asked antra, do the blue dart courier guys know that so much work goes behind all this? for so many days , so much energy... do people know who will come for the show? do the buyers know?
antra said sometimes she wondered why she chose this medium (right when i was hearing my mom's voice asking me the same question!)
but then u scrub the pot with the green stone to clear it off the unwanted wad clay stuck at the bottom, then wipe it with the wet sponge and take it out in the sun to inspect, and see news things in the same pot which u have seen ten times before and thats the moment i had the answer to my moms question: i have to do what i want to do (not that she is going to agree with me!)
all the boxes are on their way to baroda now, and we are all set to see how the show goes...
major excitement in the group and antra and me are also excited about the faludas, samosa and pavbajis of baroda :)
here is the invite.
design: adil writer

Sunday, August 30, 2009


has been taken two full days for me to tell myself the pots are out!
the pottery is looking like a sea of pots. pots everywhere. as if they hv been there from ages. as if someone has excavated them and spread them around...
great results.
could say in the history anagama firing in GBP this one has been the best.
everyone is super happy.
when we look back many things could have improved. the loading needs to be better. we were thinking of several options. in this firing one of the last shelves in the salt chamber had fallen. we did see the brick the first day of the firing, and were hoping that its not actually a brick but a piece of adil's which looks like a brick! looking at the entire kiln and the pots the one shelf damage is not really a big damage. but probably we can come up with better loading options for the next one.
now we are busy cleaning the pots. some have so much ash on them that we have to soak them in water and scrub them with a stone gently so that it doesnt damage the piece. our hands are covered with cuts using the stone. but looking at the pots anything is worth it. all the pain and hardwork.. the entire process has been so beautiful.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


the door opened.
a cave kiln full of mysteries and surprises.
we could take out only few pots today.
unloading tomo. dont think i will be able to sleep tonight!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


after firing during daytime on sunday i went back at 10.30pm to pottery to help the night team. adil was still not feeling well and i wanted to experience how it feels to be firing the anagama during night.
it was worth it. am so happy i behaved like a enthu cutlet and went for it!
the light at the chimney and the glow which spread around the pottery was amazing.
the whole night we fed so much wood to the kiln, in order to build up the ash (and also to get the cone ten and firebox two, down.
lola slept next to me throughout, i felt quite energetic and didnt feel sleepy at all.
by the time the morning team reached we had achieved a lot of ash pile on all the chnmbers but still the cone ten wasnt down.

i wanted to come back for my morning shift although everyone thought it was a foolish idea! i went back home, had a good shower, slept for two hours had coffee and then got back to the studio. and am so glad i decided that, because we finished the firing a day early and monday happened to be the last day of firing.
there was enough ash build up. we had the desired temperature. and the two stacks in the front chamber looked a bit dizy, we thought any further increase in temp might make the shelves collapse. so at three pm ray asked everyone's opinion. and we decided to finish the firing a day early. we called antra and neha and informed them
we decided to salt the last chmaber, adil made all the preparation. we took half kilo of salt made a pouch of it inside a newspaper. we took turns for spraying the salt, as soon the salt was sprayed salt packets were dropped through the stoke hole. it was a beautiful experience spraying the salt. one could actually see the glow on the pots. it was as if i was high on marijuana and hallucinating! am putting a picture of my pot, inside the kiln, taken by antra.
we finished by nine at night, nearly 75 hours firing.
then close all the openings and mud up the front and side doors.
we were home by ten thirty and i slept the whole day!
we open on thursday. keeping the fingers crossed..

Sunday, August 23, 2009


another great day.
we have almost reached the desired temperature. but we kept stoking big logs of wood to build the ash in the front of the kiln. and also started stoking at the middle and back.
now tonights work is mostly to keep the ash accumulating and also to bring down the cone 10 at the middle, at second firebox.
made chicken curry and veg rice for me veena madhvi and rakhee. sunday special.
but now the heat has begun affecting us. no one wanted to eat really! all we wanted was some cold juice...
adil is still not feeling well. i had just told ray that i would like to experience the night firing and would like to do one full night and one day continuously- 24 hrs. was plannign to do that tomo night and continue firing on tuesday during the day, our last day of firing. but just then adil called and said he could make it for tonight's shift. so i decided to do sunday night and monday morning.
so now i am off for the night shift.
with lots of fruits and glucose!
will be taking some night time pics but for the other nights' firing experience u could go to antra's blog : :

Saturday, August 22, 2009


the day time crew: rakhee, me, veena and ray.
we had so much fun. well according to adil we didnt keep the sanctity of the firing, as we were laughing ans singing and dancing around (ok, it was ME who was dancing around, but i am happy to hv been happy the whole day!) and i will forget adil's grouchy comment, he had fever and he has the right to be grouchy!
it was an intense day. the pyro stopped working . so when the night crew left (happily thinking they were on schedule) we were only about 600 degrees behind the schedule! ray fixed the pyro and also we used rakhee's pyrometre to measure the temp at the back of the cave kiln. looking back we did quite well, by six in the evening cone 10 was soft. cones are made of clay and they are put inside the kiln to measure the temperature inside the kiln. whatever the pyro might show it always a fifty or hundred degrees more inside the kiln. we hv different numbers for the cone, which stand for diff temperature. cone 10 is for 1300. the pyro was showing 1230 but the cone inside was responding to the fire. then the night team took over. it was 6.30 when we left the pottery.
other than the difficulty of catching up with the lost temp during the day , we got stuck at about 1160 for nearly two hours. ray tried all kinds of combination. thin wood, thick ones, solid huge logs of wood, opening the damper, closing it... but when later ray actually checked the cones inside we were much ahead compared to what showed outside. that was a relief. after that we mostly stoked huge logs of wood in the front in order to build up ash.
now as am writing this cone 10 must be down. and that means we achieved the desired temperature. now the night team will start stoking form the side holes as well as will maintain the temp in the beginning and will continue stoking big logs in the front to slowly build up the ash.
we reach there by 6 am tomo. and continue from there...

Friday, August 21, 2009


firing began at 5.30pm.
i stayed home during the day and did my magazine work.
antra and veena had to re do the doors, some problem with yesterday bricking up! (i came to know of it later in the evening)
we started firing at the back chimney first, and then the front bottom.
iber sweetly did a pooja to the kiln.
adil, neha, antra and iber for the night shift.
veena and me got them some munchies to eat and some fruit.
my shift starts tomo at 6 am.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


early in the morning ray called to inform there wont be electricity post 10 am! we needed light inside the kiln, so we called each other and reached pottery early and started to load. still nothing much was finished by the time the power went. so the whole day without the light and fan!! today was the most intense day at work. we even forgot to sing (ah i had forgotten to write, the last two days me rakhee and antra hv been singing all through the day, by the end of the first day adil had started whistling!). we started to load the second firebox and the front shelves both at the same time. we wanted to finish the loading soon so that there is enough time to brick up the door. there was some confusion while loading the front, one piece of rakhee's wouldnt fit and two of my baskets... but its minimum confusion keeping in mind we are loading such a huge kiln! also we forgot the supporting rod before we bricked up the side door, so we had to do the side door twice. but great day! we managed loading by four. then we had to search the right size bricks for the door, brick up the two doors, side and front and fill wad clay in all the tiny passages between the bricks and of course clean the entire kiln area...
i made coffee after that, we had it with cake!
lola was sleeping the whole day and she came to us only when we cut the cake...
we are ready for the four days firing now.
pots are all inside.
doors closed.
now we see them after the doors are open.
wood is stacked up and ready.
antra has designed a hightech door hole this time, for stoking in the front.
veena and me have polished off the store and bought lot of food.
tomo morning is the break time. am planning to sleep till late, ie if i dont wake up ten times during the night (last night whenevr i woke up i felt i was making laddos of wad clay and loading the pots!)
firing starts at 5.30pm toomo.