If you haven't noticed, I've been on a bit of a blog break. (Yes, a week and a day is a blog break, for me.) Sometimes, I just don't have anything to say; other times, everything I have to say is whiny-ass bullshit, and it's better to say nothing. So, I hunkered down with a paperback copy of Game of Thrones, and the book-on-CD version of Clash of Kings, the first two books in George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire about the mythical medieval kingdom of Westeros. But books end, and I can't stay burrowed forever.
In the aftermath of my bad firing a couple of weeks ago, I received many kind and encouraging words here in the comments, and I thank you for that. It really does help, and I was able to shake it off, mentally speaking. While I am hanging on, hanging in, chinning up and bearing down, however, math goes on. A bad firing essentially means no paycheck for that firing cycle, and that is No Fun. I don't mean to overstate my difficulty; we aren't going hungry. I've been a potter long enough to know to fill the freezer and the cupboards whenever I do have money, and it's summer in Maine: our garden is producing peas and swiss chard and raspberries and chives and strawberries. I am keeping up with everything i need to keep up with, in the short term. It's just that, in the words of the Starks of Winterfell (obviously the books are still in my head, and vice versa,) "Winter is coming."
The words serve to remind: however easy things may be now, hard times are coming. Be ready. And I am anxious because now should be the time that I am paying down my credit card debt and paying certain bills in advance. Because winter is coming. Instead, I can't afford to buy cones!! I will be firing with a skeleton crew, so to speak: 012, 05, 9, & 10, because I am out of the others. (Outside of the symbolism, this doesn't trouble me much; the missing cones are all guide cones, and I don't really need them. I am sufficiently familiar with this kiln and how it climbs that I can judge by color what I need to know.)
I have not, however, just been lying around reading and wallowing. I've been working like mad, making, bisquing, glazing, and preparing the kiln. I feel really good about this work, and I am being almost paranoid about preparing the kiln, to prevent any further avoidable failure. It took me forever to glaze this load, and it will be the stripey-est and dottiest I have done in a while. The plan is to finish loading today, fire on Wednesday, and unload Saturday.