Sunday, April 4, 2021

My Busiest Week

The week leading up to a glaze firing is always a busy one at Fine Mess Pottery. This one is compounded because we are less than a month out from the Maine Pottery Tour - I am working on the flyers right now. Did I tell you how much I hate that job? I am determined not to do the thing where I dread a task for longer than it would actually take to do the task, so I hope to have those finished today. 

Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday were glazing days. In accordance with Hofstadter's Law, glazing always takes longer than I think, even when I take into account Hofstadter's Law. My glazing is (usually) a

several-step process: trailing, waxing, dipping, pouring. I really go through the wax! I find that the flashing slip is smoother & glossier after firing where it has been waxed. I do not have a good explanation for this. 

I also needed to prepare the kiln shelves. Between every firing, I have to scrape & grind the kiln shelves, because the soda vapor makes glaze on them as well as the pots! I also do not love that job but again, if I eliminate the period of dread before I begin, it's over before I know it. 

Pre-made wads
This firing I glued on some of the wads in advance. The other wads I made up ahead of time & stored in a lidded plastic container; this makes loading go faster 7 helps keep my hands clean, so I don't get wadding smudges on the pots, or have to keep dipping my hands in water on a cold day. 

This had an unanticipated benefit; the wads were a little bit stiffer than usual, which meant that I could use taller wads that would not squish down with the weight of the pot. Taller wads mean more soda glass on the bottom. Bottoms matter! 

I space the pots with about 1.5 inches
between them for better soda distribution.
Then, the actual loading: it's always a push-pull between "get lots of pots in" and "leave plenty of space between them." Lots of pots, of course, has the benefit of being lots of pots! Plenty of space between has the benefit of better soda
coverage. I want as many pots as possible, but if I have to choose between "more pots" and "better pots," I know which one I want. 

If it still works I use it
I finished loading yesterday around 3. I take plenty of breaks, because I know from past experience that just powering thru will give me a sore back the next day, when the actual firing
will be happening. I got everything in that I needed to - yay - with some pots leftover for the next firing, also yay! Because I need to make, bisque, glaze, load, & fire so I can have an unloading even Saturday, May 1 for the pottery tour. 

The kiln is at ^05 now, in a light reduction. Probably about 7 hours to go. 

God, I'm tired. 

Oh, & happy Easter, if you are celebrating! 

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