It certainly has been one heck of a week. I'm still packing up orders and got the kiln fired yesterday... 97 little birdies went in, and 96 came out. --one of my kiln shelves tipped a bit and landed on a birdie and he fused himself to it. It's a rare occurrance that I load my kiln so precariously....actually it's never happened before...so I lost a platter and one bird. Could be worse. When I opened the kiln last nite and I noticed the angle of the top shelf was not level I started to panic--thinking the whole kiln load was ruined. So as I was unloading the kiln waayy too hot--shoulda let it cool another hour or two, I burned myself nicely on one of the shelves...silly potter! drop the damn hot shelf before you let your throwing hand get burnt!! It's not too bad--Nelson's Homeopathic Burn cream seemed to help a lot... So I tore thru the kiln down to the bottom to check some vases and pulled up this one: Now WTF is this? why on earth would there be a gray line showing up on this pot??? this poor baby is destined for the shard pile because of a kiln god's graffiti? uggggh! These things never happen on the inside bottom of the pot--noooooo it has to be right on the front of the decoration---quit messing with me!!!
So here we are already nearing the end of August--holy crap--where has this year gone????? Remember this post? That was waaaaaaaay back in April!!! (seems like last week to me....) So here are a few new pix of the yard: --it has been so freakin hot out there that I'm only out there before 8am or after 8pm....life in the desert, you know. So yes, the weeds are growing a bit, but not too bad as we've had very little rain, and my garden has been doing just fine. I carried about 6 pounds of tomatos in the other day gathered up in my skirt (I wish I had a pic of that!) but I only have this: My friends have all received large bags of tomatoes so now I think it's time to get out the food dehydrator and make some 'sun dried' tomatoes. Since these are all Roma tomatoes, they should dry well. I'll keep you posted.
I have been incorporating some more earrings into the shop too: and some new tasty mugs:
So I got up bright and early to glaze a kiln load Saturday morning--well, it didn't get done til Sunday at 5pm...just a few change of plans thrown at me over my 'work weekend'....ha! My neighbor Mike knocked on the door and said "I have something to show you--I thought maybe you could use this for your pottery..." and as we walked over to his driveway I saw a veritable ocean of bubblewrap. He's a mechanic and does some work at home for friends, and a bumper had arrived in a box with about 4,000,000 feet of bubble wrap. Here's what it looked like somewhat contained:
(this is how they pack car parts?) anyhoo, my mind fast forwarded to the holiday season shipping frenzy and I thought, wow--MOTHER LODE!! I'll never have to buy bubble wrap again! Thank you thank you thank you!!!! So I spent a little time out there on the driveway trying to contain it all and eventually got it into several black bags and into my garage.... as I was doing the backstroke through the plastic sea on my driveway, my phone rang--it was B. He was halfway across the state on a video shoot and I thought he was calling to speak sweet nothings as he sometimes does when he's on a job out of town, "hi sweetie," I crooned into the phone... Him: "ummm, so what are you doing today?" Me: "I'm glazing today and Mike just gave me a little bubblewrap..." Him interrupting me with a strange edge in his voice: " well, I'm kind of screwed here, could you drive down to Prescott (couple hours away) and bring me some equipment?" It turned out there was a mixup with his boss' cameras and he was shooting an all day event and had the wrong power adaptor and a dead second battery for the camera. There was more than a little panic in his voice--this is a man who covers his bases and hardly ever asks for help. It seems that the last person to use the camera left a few things out of the bag, and B hadn't checked it when he picked it up, so now he was in a real bind... Me: "sure babe, what do you need me to bring?" He proceeded to talk me through various cabinets and drawers in his office to locate the stuff he needed, and I heard him breathe a sigh of relief as I said goodbye and I'd see him in a couple hours. I wrangled the rest of the bubblewrap into the bags to get it off the driveway, and hit the road. By the time I got home 5 hours later, I was in no mood for glazing so I threw a few lotus bowls and drew their designs before heading out to see Julie & Julia with a girlfriend. I carved the bowls Sunday morning and then I got the kiln glazed and loaded Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, I took most of the day off yesterday. and yes, my sweetie was very thankful for my help, and I was really glad I was there to be of help. One of the benefits of working from home and making my own schedule.
You may remember I've been having some troubles with my firings--remember that batch that underfired last month? Well, I refired everything and it overfired and bubbled and needed to be tossed. Yes, one week of work thrown in the garbage. Customers needed to be called and told their orders would be late, shitty pots sat in the yard because I couldn't bring myself near them after pulling their bubbly, crusty carcasses out of the kiln mid July. Haven't had that happen in several years now....I was about ready to hang myself over it---that's a lot of work to come out ruined, not to mention loss of income! I told myself not to dwell on those things and keep moving. It was a funny sort of exercise, not to allow myself to go down that route of rage and anger and victim-ness, but somehow I did it. I did have a few little fits in the first few days, but I kept steering the car away from that road. (I have learned something in these 41 years!) Of course, I was pretty deeply affected by it, who wouldn't be? but there was a silver lining to that dark cloud, and I developed a new trick to firing my kiln, which is a bit more labor intensive, as it's a manual kiln, but I have much more even firings and have been really happy with the results. So I noticed as I was potting along yesterday reflecting on the gorgeous firing I had over the weekend, that I wouldn't have come up on the new process if I hadn't had all those problems a few weeks ago. Isn't it always like that in life? I was so freakin miserable about the ruined work but I'm glad I kept on working as if it didn't happen and then somehow started tweaking the end of the next firing, and lo and behold it worked! (thank god, or else I might have really hung myself, or quit clay altogether!)