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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Journey Continues

Oh so much happening. Today's work, mostly big bowls, 9 of them in various shapes, also some Butterkeepers and Coasters. Yep, Coasters. I've never done anything like coasters before, but there they are. Tomorrow I'll trim them flat, round the edges and we'll get them into the kiln.

We also had a glaze kiln cooling, which of course I was worried about, but so far it looks like everything will be OK. You can see some of the pieces I was most worried about sticking and not working out are just fine. I can't wait to get into the rest of the kiln. We had a lot of special orders in this kiln and I am anxious to get them off to their new homes.

I still have many pieces to glaze, so I guess I'll be able to get a glaze kiln in again tomorrow, and we'll load up the other kiln with bisc. Ro changed out the relays in it today, the old ones seemed fine, but the kiln seemed to be acting funny. I am not sure if I just lost my mind and imagined the kiln was taking too long to fire or not. And I am not sure if I am just wrong about the diagnosis.

The kiln seemed to be taking a long time to fire, so after it was empty I did a fast fire to cone 6 and at about 700 degrees opened the lid and looked for glowing elements. the bottom 2/3 of the kiln looked dark. I thought this can't be an element..because that would mean 2 wall elements and a floor element are out.

So we researched it and found the next possibility is a relay.. but usually when a relay goes, there is charred plastic on it, these looked clean.

So today I asked Ro to swap out the bottom two, we looked at the old ones and they still looked charring and we fired the kiln up again and again at 700 the bottom 2/3 looked dark, so I closed the lid and then peeked again in a few minutes and it seemed like there was glowing on the bottom. We shut the lid again and looked at about 900 degrees and all of them were starting to glow... so I have no idea. We're going to fire it up and see if I was just out of my mind about the timing.

The Event Looms

 We're in the middle of the time most potters hate. The crunch before a show. We're leaving next week for NH and I almost feel like I have enough work for it. But not quite. Here's how today went.

Pack and mail the Etsy orders.

Home to start pulling handles

 Studio assistant Cristin arrives and starts wedging clay, 1.25lbs for butter keepers, then 1.5lbs for the round mugs.

I continue to pull handles until 3PM when I have to run into town for groceries and other errands.

I return home and start glazing

Dinner guest arrives and I stop glazing

Dinner! Homemade Manicotti! YAY RO!

I return to glazing, Ro cleans up the kitchen and comes to load glaze kiln

I finish glazing (kiln full, still more pots waiting) and move back to pulling handles.

Cristin has left 50lbs of clay out when she ran out of time so I have Ro wedge it into  5lb balls to make serving and  mixing bowls.

Tomorrow, there will be much throwing of pieces again and hopefully some kiln repair, since one kiln is still down.

Hopefully there will also be some studio cleanup since I seem to have utterly destroyed the place over the last week. I also hope that the number of pieces we need for the show is reached. We have 4 tables to fill. That's a lot of space.