Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another Trip!

I've just gotten back from my second trip to the Grey Islands this summer and I am happy to say that my camera worked fine this time around (in fact I got a brand new camera just in time for the trip). So here are some pics and notes about the adventure!

We got into Conche at about 3pm and found this little iceberg (and bergy bits) in the cove:

I should mention that I didn't go by myself this time. There were eight of us altogether and a good time was had by all. Here Paul is getting us loaded aboard his boat, and Jordan is in the background.

The boat ride was amazing! We saw dolphins, orcas, minkes and humpbacks, not mention the millions of seabirds. Here are the dolphins that swam under the boat:

We also got very close to some amazing icebergs. There were probably about fifty icebergs gathered around the island:

The first thing we did was walk up to the kiln and unload it. Most of the pots were pretty underfired, as I expected, but it was good to see the kiln still standing nonetheless:

The next day we saw caribou and I managed to get these pics despite not knowing how to properly use my new camera yet:

We eventually reloaded the kiln and tried another firing:

We had to wait through another spectacular sunset before we could unload the kiln in the morning:

I haven't gotten satisfactory images of the pottery yet - that will be the next post.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Home Again

I'm home again after nearly a week on the Grey Islands. I was alone the whole time, and though the weather wasn't too bad I took the easy way out and stayed in Paul's cabin every night. I got some pics of the ride out, some pics of caribou, and a few pics of the kiln before my camera completely died. I spent three full days collecting wood, rebuilding the kiln into a functional form, and firing, and didn't get a single picture of the whole process. What's more is that I never got back to unload the pots from the firing, so I don't even have a piece of pottery to show for all this! I was firing the kiln from 10am to about 10pm on Saturday night, and Paul showed up so early Sunday morning that I was still in bed. I never even made it back up to the kiln to see my results!! I suppose that's just an excuse to go out again later this summer to see what happened. Anyways, here are the pictures that I did get, hope you enjoy.

Paul getting ready to leave Conche.

The kiln just as I found it.

The only real thing that had happened over the past two years is the bagwalls falling over.

The stacking of the bricks also became quite loose, though nothing else fell in. I suppose this is due to the heaving of the ground during the freeze/thaw cycle.

Here's a close up on the loosening of the bricks on the lid of the firebox.

And here are some caribou. There were lots of them around, but I didn't try to get too close, and they were pretty happy about that.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Pots Are Glazed And Ready To Go!

Here are some pics of the pots I'm bringing to the Grey Islands with me. If everything goes as planned I should be out there on Tuesday morning, and back by Sunday morning. Although I gotta say, I wouldn't mind getting stranded by the weather for a few days.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Going Back

In just over a week I will finally be returning to the Grey Islands. I've booked my time off work, I've booked my travel plans, and I've started packing my bags. I'm excited!

It's been nearly two years since I was there last. Too long, yes, but a trip last summer just couldn't happen. Well now I will have six days there, probably mostly by myself, to do with as I wish. So what should I do?

Well, for one, I plan to make some pottery. I'm going to rebuild the kiln into a more functional form and put some pots in there and fire them. I don't know if this is going to work - heck I'm not even sure the bricks have made it through two winters in any sort of decent shape. They may be destroyed from the freeze/thaw cycle, or if the little stream they are situated next to has shifted course then they may have toppled into the water. But I will bring some bisque fired pots and put them in there and do my best to make a big bloody fire.

If that doesn't take up all my time then I also plan to have a look around for clay deposits. For the last month or two I've been using a lovely clay that I dug here in the vicinity of Corner Brook so I've become interested in using the materials I can find at hand. Imagine - if I find a nice clay on the Grey Islands then...well, I don't exactly know what I'd do with it, but it's something to think about anyways.

So in the next couple weeks you can expect there will be a few more posts on the blog with pictures and tales from the Grey Islands. Stay tuned!