Sunday, March 22, 2015

Mariah Blows the Stars Around

They may call the wind Maria; I call it a giant pain in the ass.

Though it was slow to get rolling, I was very excited to finally be firing. The past winter had not been conducive (not that the so-called "spring" has been a hell of a lot better so far!) but I finally got the kiln loaded and candled overnight last night. I started turning burners up around 4 am, to get the wax burned off before light, so it wouldn't worry neighbors and passers-by; but by 10:00 am I knew I was in trouble. The wind was gusting hard, and picking up.

This isn't a problem for the reason a lay person might expect, that the wind makes everything feel colder. It's not appreciably harder to bring the kiln to temperature in the 12°F than in 70°. The wind does affect how the flame moves around the kiln, though, and high winds cause my kiln to draw too hard. The wind essentially sucks the heat out the stack before it can do its good work inside. Not all of it, of course, and not immediately, but the kiln will climb very unevenly, and the bottom will be a lot hotter than the top. 

I looked up the forecast and found that Augusta has a high wind advisory until 8 pm tonight, so my feeble optimism that perhaps it would die down was misplaced. Nevertheless I spent an hour arguing with myself about whether to abort the firing. I've already invested several hour of propane! The winds are not as bad as that time the firing was really really awful! Maybe it will be okay! I won't be able to complete this firing for a whole week if I bail now!

Yeahno. Sure, it might turn out alright. But what's the point of experience, if you don't learn from it? Experience tells me that this firing will either burn way more propane than it should, or turn out badly, or, more likely, both. What's to be gained by continuing? Yes, postponing will make a delivery late, but guess what? That delivery is also going to be late if the pots are bad and either have to be re-fired or re-made entirely.
I am aggravated about this, but was there ever anything so futile as anger at the weather? I'll just take out my frustrations on some dust bunnies and coffee stains. Then I'll start packing for NCECA! Just typing those words helps my mood. 

On the topic of wind, Harve Presnell has a few words to add.

PS. Is there really a place where people call rain Tess, or fire Joe? "My Joe was postponed due to Mariah?" "Looks like it's going to Tess tonight?" YEAH I KNOW IT'S JUST A SONG. Enjoy.

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