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I've just wrapped up a six-week workshop with Kevin Crowe, which happened to coincide with my throwing cycle for the fall wood-firing at his kiln in Nelson County, VA. This was my third workshop with Kevin, and it was an incredibly productive one. None of the forms we focused on were new to me -- we'd thrown all of them in his previous workshops. My intent going into the workshop was to work on refining the forms and focus on throwing larger pieces than I've successfully thrown before. In the process, Kevin was able to point out a few bad habits I'd picked up over the last year or so, and help me correct them. Some things just clicked, others were a bit of a struggle, but after 6 weeks, I can honestly say that I feel like I'm throwing the best pots I ever have, and am excited to see how they fire in a few weeks.
Traveling with leather-hard greenware is always one of the most stressful parts of the woodfiring experience for me. The pots are wrapped, packed, and padded, filling up the small trunk and back seat of my car. I'm carrying about 30 of my own pieces (mugs, teabowls, honey pots, cruets and graters, plates (see right), lidded jars (see above), and a teapot I'm particularly excited about) as wells as a few pieces from the other potters in my workshop: Precious Cargo. Once the pots are down there, glazed, and wadded, I don't worry as much. It's in the control of the kiln and the amazing group of potters who help to fire it. But during the hour or so drive down to Nelson, it's all on me, and it's not just my work that I'm responsible for.