The bi-yearly woodfiring at the Fernvale location of the Murwillumbah Potters Group happened a couple of weeks ago. It is always a grand event, attended by lots of people, and lots of work ensues trying to get that bastard of a kiln to temperature (didn’t happen….AGAIN!!!!).
I actually thought that I was going to have a great firing and incredible pots. I love the work of Dick Lehman and here are some photos of an article that was in Ceramics Monthly (a few years back!) showing how he side fires and the gorgeous results.
Then on Facebook, I saw a tip from Michael Coffee that showed how to mix wood ash with copper carbonate and rutile to get amazing results.
I apply the ash while the underglaze is still wet and I apply to anticipate the flowing at temp.
Did this too!
Anyway, you can see the slide show here of the befores, during, and afters of the wood firing.
However, the BEST part was when Carol Anderson decided to retrieve a goanna from the roadside that had been struck by a car (later found out it was Ann Lee’s husband, Terry!) and then cook it on the coals from the wood kiln so we could EAT IT!!!
The whole thing was my friend, Judith’s fault. Really!
Judith Wagenseller, one of my besties, gave me a book on Clay Pot Cooking. Last year.
Oops, just now getting around to reading it! But it is awesome and fascinating and one of the things that it talked about in the book was cooking a chicken wrapped in clay.
Judith and I are both subject to a bit of craziness as I only mentioned a book to Judith last year and she FOUND it!
Then we did a video to send to Ellen (we just knew Ellen would want Judith on her show talking about the cat finger puppets she had made from her own cat’s fur – too good, eh?!!) Side note: Truly Southurst this could be you on the video!
See the video of Judith and her cat finger puppets here:
So you can clearly see, that none of this is my fault…it is Judith who is the culprit here. She is the one that gave me the book. I …. only read it and reported the process of cooking a chicken in clay. The rest just happened!
Once again I must reiterate, this is my friend, Judith’s, fault. I was merely sitting chatting with the group about my book on Clay Pot Cooking and mentioned the chicken in clay and everyone sitting around chatting agreed that it was supposed to be excellent.
Well, Carol decided to run to town and get a chook and some banana leaves and try it!!
On the way back, the poor road-kill goanna lay tauntingly at the side of the road and Carole couldn’t resist. She’s an archaeologist and she and Warwick taught school on an island in Northern Queensland, so she is a cluey sort of chick.
So here’s the photographic rendition of this crazy tale!
I did taste it and yes, it tastes like chicken – although stringy, tough chicken.
There was a party happening in the building at the other end of the property and soon a crowd came to see what was going on. Tasting and dismembering of the goanna happened. It wasn’t pretty, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!
As I said this is how kids start using drugs, “Oh come on, try it! It won’t hurt you. Just try a little bit. You don’t want to say you never tried it!” and so it goes. First, it’s goanna, then you are on to the heavier stuff…snake, possum, who knows where it could end!
My family is worried that I’m going “bogan” (red-neck to you Americans) as I am also keeping the snake skins I find around the place in a Mason jar (and other stuff is happening, hey?!).
What the heck! I’m a potter! And we can be as weird as we want!
Happy potting to all! and to all a good nite!