With the change in the seasons, we are working on bringing new workshops to White Trees.
We are teaming up locally with Mandie at Intentions Health and Wellness to try something new in the Bonnyville, Cold Lake area. We have a cauldron mug workshop coming up on October 1st and Mandie is going to do a meditation for us to set our intentions and ground us before we graze on charcuterie while I demo how to make your very own tripod cauldron mug.
With Halloween around the corner we have themed this workshop to bring out the witch in you, “Double, double toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.” Get your Shakespeare on and get creative. We have planned this workshop for a Saturday night, so join us for a fun relaxing evening.
At the end of the night, you will leave your mug with me to dry slowly over a few days to a week. It’s important that they dry slowly to prevent any cracking and to give the moisture added to attach the handles on the mugs time to equalize. Once they are dry I fire them in my kiln which is a fancy way to say cook them in an oven, lol. They are fired to Cone 04 which is about 800 degrees Celsius. It takes about 6-8 hours and has to cool down for at least another 8-16 hours before I can unload the kiln and get ready to glaze the mugs which at this stage are called bisque ware.
To glaze, you need to wax the bottoms first. Glaze cannot touch the kiln shelf or it will become part of the kiln shelf. Each mug is dipped in glaze and the bottoms are cleaned off before loading them back in the kiln to be fired to Cone 6, almost 2400 degrees Celsius. This firing takes 8-12 hours and needs another 12 -24 hours to cool down. Opening a glaze load is like Christmas morning. It’s amazing to see how the glazes turn out.
Now the mugs are ready to have the bottoms sanded down to ensure they are smooth before they get packed up for delivery.
You may have noticed a change in the name of Decorative Birdhouse Workshops. We are now calling these amazing little houses fairy houses for a couple of reasons.
First of all, at White Trees Retreats, we have trails through the trees that we want to create a fairy walk in. Over time we are going to add little fairy houses and doors along the trails to bring a little magic to the trails.
The other reason has to do with the birds. We have always called them Birdhouses decorative because they are made of ceramics and get very hot in the sun. When you hang them outside, birds do build nests in them and unfortunately, the birdhouses get too hot and cook the little eggs. We found it was getting a little confusing so fairy houses they will be.
We are also busy coming up with some new ideas for workshops this winter. We will of course offer the same classes as always, but be on the lookout for some new workshops to pop up! And if you have any ideas, please let us know.
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