Because I was anxious about re-injuring my shoulder, I stuck with very small bowls to start with. These were a pound and a half -- about the upper limit of what I can center with one hand; ribbing and pulling up seemed safe enough activities for both. I was overly cautious, I think: a few days later, in class, I demonstrated with 4 1/2 pounds, with no ill effects. I also loaded a bisque, only to discover that a thermocouple was shot, and that I am out, so I had to put off the firing until the new one arrives. Yes, I could have duct-taped the valve open, but again, I am more cautious than I used to be. On a tangent, why in the Sam Hill does it cost $8 to ship a thermocouple? You could almost just stick it in a #10 envelope with a first class stamp. Highway robbery.
Work is progressing on the kiln shelter, although not much of my work, I admit. I sketched it out and got the materials, but Doug has done almost all of the construction. That's probably for the best, as, watching him, I am astounded at how much more careful he is than I would be that things are level, at precise right angles, etc. I have a "whatever, good-enough" attitude about such things with the result that my projects, while perfectly servicable, often have a half-assed look about them. When it comes time to build the new kiln (hopefully next summer...Anyone have a line on used superduty brick, anywhere near Maine?) I will have to make an effort to emulate him.