Friday, November 19, 2010

What the Heck Are These For?

A couple of days ago, I decided I needed to revisit an idea from a customer which required some slab work. I could have used the slab roller, but I need the slabs large and round, so I just used the giant rolling pin. I'm not sure why I was surprised to wake up with a sore shoulder. I've had tendonitis in both of my shoulders at various times in the past. Just another dumbass move.

I know it doesn't look like much yet.

So while I nurse my shoulder for another day, I'm mixing some test glazes. Before I can do that, I have to organize and label the test tiles from last fall so as not to retest something. I would have labelled them sooner, but I've been engrossed in a book about procrastination. If anyone has any cone 6 reduction recipes, please share. I'm also going to try Val Cushing's method of converting a cone 10 glaze to cone 6. Has anyone had any luck with this?

As you know, my studio came equipped with lots of extras, including glaze ingredients. I have Ilmenite, Granular Rutile and Iron Chromate. Does anyone have a recipe that uses any of these? Would you just sprinkle the granular rutile on the shoulder of a pot?

I also have a small blue trash can with little baggies of a white material. I know what you're thinking. I suppose the studio would be a grand hiding place, but who would leave something so valuable behind? Anyway, John Britt did a cone 10 melt test for me, but couldn't determine what it was. It looked like it melted, but then balled back up into little bits. I'm going to do a cone 6 melt test.
Meanwhile, the bisque is firing, and I'm set to load a cone 6 load Sunday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Probably Not the Brightest Thing I've Done

Deadlines suck! Just when you think you've got it all under control, you remember the piece someone wanted you to try making, or a cat jumps on a bowl and forces you to alter it, or you find yourself reaching for just one more ball of clay. The result is a fair amount of work that is not bone dry yet. Why can't I exercise the necessary self-control to keep to my schedule?

The TRAC Studio Tour is in two weeks. I actually have plenty of time to fire everything. However, we are going to the Outer Banks for Thanksgiving, so I'm going to lose some precious work days. And besides, I wanted to take some of the work from this yet-to-happen firing with me. You know the drill: work backwards from a reasonable unloading date and you have your last bisque date. In my case, unload Tuesday means last bisque Saturday.
But impatient me can't wait. There is so much work to glaze that I'll be dead on my feet if I wait until Sunday. So, I had to make the choice to fire 2 half-full loads, or one full. And although I am a half-full type of gal, I decided to load it all, turn on the lowest element and hopefully the wetter work will dry out. I'm usually very conservative about drying times, but the wet work isn't cut or altered, so I'm hoping I'll be okay.
I pretty proud of how full the kiln is, considering I still don't have shelves that really fit. In fact, the top two half-shelves are both broken. They come in handy in a pinch though.

Now I just have to decide when to actually start firing.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Collection of Small Miseries

Several weeks ago musing about mud blogger Carole Epp posted about how she was self-publishing a book of her figurines to accompany an exhibit of the same work. She wanted blog readers to comment with their favorites, and from those comments she would choose two readers to receive a free copy of the book.
Jim Gottuso and I were chosen, and I just received my copy of the book today. The book is gorgeous and the work is exquisite and haunting. My favorite is "She wanted to see no more evil".

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Quick Thoughts on Local Politics

I do my best and worst thinking while I'm wedging clay. I had loads to wedge and weigh today, and I was nearly in a state of despair when "Chalkhills and Children" by XTC came on the iPod and saved me.

I voted yesterday because I always vote. After the fucked-up stolen election of 2000, I came to realize that one person can make a difference. Our country and perhaps our world would be a vastly different and arguably better place had President Gore been in office when the 9/11 attacks happened. I'll agree with many of you who have had it with attack ads, phone calls, and the sheer stupidity of our government. I still feel it's my right and duty to vote, so I do it.

We've lived up here in this mountain community for 2 1/2 years now. I've met plenty of locals and lots of folks who have relocated here. It's a gorgeous and inspiring place to live and work. That said, the local politics are strange indeed. Although I REALLY want to, I won't name names, but I've just got to share some stories from this year's election season.

As part of the debate team, my daughter had the priviledge of assiting a candidates' forum a few weeks ago. Some of her observations include:

One candidate who played solitaire on her phone during the forum.

One candidate who quoted the Bible.

One candidate who said he wanted to bring real jobs to our county, not pottery making or beading.

One candidate who refused to follow the forum rules with regards to how much time he could talk.

In addition, Monday night I met a woman who had not voted ever since she had been offered money by a candidate at the polls 40 years ago. For real. In fact, this seems to be a time-honored tradition up here. The alleged perpetrator handed out $20 bills "for your time, not for your vote" and won re-election yesterday.

Where is an election official when you need one?