Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New kiln arrives...

     Well, Hot Damn. It's finally arriving today. A new L&L e23T electric kiln. Since 2009 I've managed to make work with a 17" Cress manual hobby kiln. Fine kiln but it has it's limitations with capacity and control over firing conditions. I replaced the elements because my firings were taking longer and becoming inconsistent. Naturally, immediately following, I had issues with the manual controller and flywheel not regulating the temperature rise and eventually tripping the breakers before the kiln reached temperature. There comes a point when the universe helps point you towards your next stage of development, when it says, "Enough with amateur hour," and I guess that was my moment with the kiln. It had served me for 6 years but was I really going to keep putting money into an outdated, inefficient, capricious kiln forever? So, financially, I made the choice to procure some funds and purchase a new electric kiln with a larger capacity and much more control over firings, including heat rising, soaking and cooling schedules which should hopefully result in some progress in my glaze exploration. In addition, since I was dropping a bit of cash, I opted to get a small test kiln at the same time to really expand my options for making work, testing surfaces and glazes, and assist in producing beads and other small pieces, when needed.

     So... moving forward... Next project will be the wood kiln because I have got to do something with all this brick on my lawn.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Quest for balance

     It's been several weeks now and I'm still trying to find a balance between studio and farm, home and work, self-care and other-care, clay and metal. (Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale). When I can't be as productive as I'd like to be in terms of "pieces out the door," I try to work on the things that help later on. I'm getting a new, larger kiln and a test kiln in a few days. In order to make room for them, I had to reorganize the studio space and that meant lots of days where half the studio was outside on tables while I moved, swept, cleaned, screwed in new shelves, re-boxed, labeled, tossed in the garbage and then put everything back. Something about reorganizing and cleaning that sets my restart button.
     Also, using the right tools helps things move along much faster. Concrete = Hammer Drill. Yay.