Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The First Kiln Fire in Uvalama


We are home after a long hot morning of helping transport the clay pieces to the small town of Uvalama and the firing.
Senor has a good book going, the air conditioning is going and I want to show you how the morning went.

Below are some of the fishies that were sculpted. Here is Jorge, the comex paint bass man and teacher.

And this is Tiffany. She is on loan from her college in Atlanta. She is working on her internship and chose to come to Alamos to teach sculpting, so she and Jorge are working together and they make a great team.

WHOA!!!!!! Senor just got a phone call. The bridge group is waiting for him and he did not know there is a game. Book is tossed on the floor, shoes are on and he is outta here.

Wow, I don't know how to feel, that happened so fast.

HOME ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But before I get wild and crazy and swing from the chandeliers, back to the post.

About twelve folks were out to help transport and watch the firing. Here is the kiln, at the Museum curator's Uvalama property, near where we dug the dirt the other day.

The kiln is made of ladrillos and mortar.

The inside, with slats for air circulation.

Below, Jorge loads the kiln. Everything goes in a tight fit, in many layers. If something is even still slightly damp it will not get fired today. Yesterday I made a round plaque with our street name and number but it is still damp and won't go in. Anything damp might explode and then break everything else.

After all the pieces are in, a thin layer of tin and scrap metal and broken pot shards are put in.

Pine is broken to fit the fire hole. As soon as the fire begins to smoke, a few tecates are opened and passed around.
More wood gets added.
This sheet of tin will cover the top of the kiln.

But first, as long as there is already a fire going, let's heat up some soup.

We asked how hot they will let the fire get. They don't know...........until it is hot enough, said Jorge, in SpanishEnglish. We asked how long will they fire..................until everything is done, said Jorge in SpanishEnglish. We asked if we should stay or when we should come back......................when it is done, said Jorge in SpanishEnglish.............. come at four or five.

Someone asked if he had his comex bass there, no it is at the other house, he said.........but I have a bucket, I can make another. Our friend Squier, who, with his wife, hosted the wonderful barbeque the other night and builds and plays mandolins said he might bring out the mandolin tonight as well.

Now Senor generally plays bridge until six, so I mentioned this to him as he flew out the door and he said he would try and get out early. Well, I do not play bridge, but I know, if you are partnered up in a card just don't get out early, there is no such thing. It is not like going to a party, being ready to leave and telling the hostess it is time to go.

So, I am not sure we will make it out to Uvalama later. We may miss a very cool impromptu jam session and the removal of the first pieces.

If we miss it today, I think the damp pieces will be fired manana and perhaps we will go then...........................stay tuned ..........


Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

wow, a very very heavy rain is falling, thunder, lightning, wind. i wonder what happens to the kiln and the firing in all this......

Ian Huntington said...

Linda,these last two posts are especially interesting. You touch on so many different things. One of the things I've been thinking about doing when I move to Alamos is making mosaics. With quality clay in nearby Uvalama...more to think about. Fun!

Susan Erickson said...

So interesting...that is low fire earthenware at it's best. Primitive but effective firing techniques. It will be interesting to see if they smoke and get a nice, carbon black to them... Do they ever burnish their work? Some of my most favourite pottery is low fire,carbon black, burnished work like they do Oaxaca.

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

i don't see burnished black work here at all, it is glazed with browns, rusts, golds, reds. One day I will go take a photo of some of the large pots that are for sale. this was just a simple sculpting class.

and guess what? senor did not get home from bridge until after 6pm and we missed it all. they say they will now fire next weekend, not today, booooooohooooo.

Jacqui said...

I love the idea of making ise of the fire and heating up the soup.

Over here a mixture of English and Spanish is called Spanglish.

I have been back in the UK 4 weeks now and had no reason to speak Spanish until I had to phone the bank in Spain yesterday, wow, what a struggle to find the words. Looks like I will lose my conversational Spanish very quickly.

Love the photos and I have taken on board you request for some from me - soon, LL, soon!