Unexpected technical challenges and surprise personal interactions are frequenting our studio this May and June as we work through filling spring orders and finalizing our summer collection designs.
In between all the “unexpecteds,” Leah and Kevin proudly pressed forward to refine the glazing process and production timing for our new line of tableware–bowls, mugs, tumblers, and vases–that we call Ephraim Elemental.
It seemed appropriate that some of us present a collective toast to mark the day a week or so ago when we officially introduced this signature offering of functional tableware to the world at large.
Shipped from Indiana, a box of baby chicks arrived in Laura’s workspace this month. They charmed everyone who encountered them. By next spring, they will provide a steady stock of eggs as they join the current flock of four two-year-old hens and a pair of roosters now in residence around Laura’s farm.
Since first we met at the studio, the chickens are getting so big! Their fluff is now replaced with homely pin feathers, it’s kind of like an “awkward teenager phase.” Next, they will grow into a brood of beautiful, multicolored hens–some speckled, some black, some red, some brown, and all girls (fingers crossed)! Laura finds her feathered friends calming and fun to have around.
After unscheduled breakdowns, we are happy to report that two of our valued pieces of equipment at the studio, the glazing spray booth and the floor scrubber, are up and running smoothly. Alek has since returned to his throwing wheel where he experiences much less frustration.
Our new clay mixer is set up. Working with a clay mixer seems like a good idea–we are now able to reclaim clay lost to trimming, turning and sculpting. Reconstituting it not only allows us to be good stewards of the earth and our resources, but adding aging clay to our mix makes it more plastic and malleable when throwing on the wheel and sculpting.
With all this activity around us, we discipline ourselves to make time to continually explore new and evolving ideas together. We especially respect the part of the handmade process that takes place away from our hands and eyes, the part that takes place in the kiln overnight. It keeps us in a state of anticipation. Opening the kiln can be humbling or exhilarating, we simply never know which to expect. Stay tuned for what comes next…