Two wonderful ladies threw a big birthday for me (Graham) this past weekend. It was great to finally put the house through its paces and break the kitchen in a bit. A huge thanks to my wonderful wife Ermela and my talented mom Carol for putting this event together! And now, the pictures can do the talking:

First Glaze Firing

We finally got around to glazing and firing our first set of pots! they came out 90% awesome. Thanks to the tutelage of Dustin ( @ceramicism ) we figured out what we were doing and had some pretty cool if unexpected results. For those of you who have not been in middle school recently... first you shape the clay, then you harden it in a light firing, then you paint it with the glaze. The glaze changes appearance drastically after the firing from what it looks like in the container, also, glazes tend to react in unexpected ways with other glazes.

More detailed pictures of the post-firing results to come, just waiting for a nice sunny day and a minute to spare.

Amenia Bobsled Team

That's the name for our tub removal crew, a big thanks to Dustin Barzell, and Oren Petranker for helping to haul the old castiron beast out of the upstairs hallway. It actually was in the pink bathroom, but the spot it graced for near on 100 years will become a hallway and thus improve the flow immeasurably.  Now, we don't know the exact weight on the tub, but Oren and Graham have hauled ovens, coal stoves, butcher blocks etc.. with nary a grunt, but this thing damn near killed the team. Not only was it heavy, it also had to come down a curved staircase without damaging the plaster or railing, not an easy task.


It got much easier to move once we realized that the slip nuts on the plumbing had not released, so out came the sawzall and it cut just like buttah'. A special thanks to Julie for documenting the process and doing some solid pre tub removal demolition. Go to our instagram page for a fun video of the final push @brokenchimneyfarm

First Firing

In continuing pursuit of our artist community like dream, we fired the kiln for the first time this weekend. It was a bit of a test run, done with some trepidation given that the kiln was an Ebay find. Fortunately it all worked like a charm and shut itself off at just the right time. These pieces are by Graham and his very talented friend Dustin Barzell ( or @ceramicism for you instagramers). The symmetrical/larger pieces in these pics tend to be by Dustin. This was just the bisque firing, so now they are ready to be glazed and made pretty, hopefully in the works this coming weekend. For those of you who know Dustin's work, you know this is just the blank canvas for color.  

Artist in Residence Program

OK, perhaps it is too soon to call it a program, but due to our abundance of artistically gifted friends we are hoping to create a space where friends can come visit, stay a while, and create. This last weekend we had our first taste of it when Dustin and Hannah came upstate and set up the rickety home made pottery wheel Graham got off Ebay (turned out to be a good buy). We don't know anything about pottery, we picked up a kiln and some basic equipment in the hopes of making tile, but figured you cant have a kiln without a wheel... So lucky us, Dustin is an awesome potter, follow him on Instagram @ceramicism - he gave us tutorials and made some great pieces. We can't wait for more creative weekends like this.

Meanwhile, Hannah did some serious damage upstairs tearing out plaster and lathe in the old "pink bathroom".

See that smudge??? That's a sign of hard work!

A great weekend!