I don't know where you are in the world but here in Md we are getting pounded with heavy rain. All day. I came home from class today to find my kiln room 4 inches under water. Luckily the kiln is on stilts and the electrical parts are up higher than the water can get to. Apparently the guy who installed it did know what he was doing. No damage but I did need to use the kiln tonight to fire work for a show on Saturday.
My original plan for the day was to come home from class, glaze my work and get it in the kiln by 3-ish. What actually happened was this... After scooping up two 5 gallon buckets by hand and getting no where I got out the wet-vac only to find it broken so (tick tick tick) off to Home Depot I go to buy a new one. Back in the studio I spent at least an hour (tick tick) sucking up 100 gallons of water from the kiln room floor. I could only afford the 6 gallon wet-vac and after heaving multiple 6 gallon containers of water into the utility sink I was actually happy I didn't get the larger size 'cause I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to lift it.
Once I got the water up I went around the basement to suck up any little leaks that pop up on our floor when it rains really hard (tick tick tick). I came back to the kiln room only to find that while I was gone another inch of water had crept back in. So I sucked that up. And it came back.
I thought it was coming through the door so I plugged that up the best I could with some old towels. Still coming through.
Then I saw it. The waterfall streaming down the stairs coming from one really large crack in the basement steps. Really it's amazing it took me so long to see this because it was shooting water in a steady 3 inch stream out of the step.
Frantically I raced around the house trying to find something to stop the water from coming in. Epoxy, water proof tape... anything! Everything I came across had to be applied to dry surface (hello, it's a leak?) and wouldn't work. I didn't want to drive back to Home Depot for fear that all 4 inches of water would creep back in while I was gone.
Then I had a brainstorm. I just needed something waterproof and moldable to shove in the crack. It only had to hold until the rain stops and we can properly fix the stairs. What I had that fit the bill was old modeling clay from college. I dug it out of my studio drawers (hey, sometimes it pays to be a pack rat), pulled off a hunk, rolled it into a coil and shoved it into the crack. The water stopped. I can't even believe that worked. I found every other major crack and jammed some it to them too. It's still holding.
I wet-vaced up the rest of the water and started glazing my work. Of course I realized that I was out of black liner glaze and had to run to the clay store to get more (tick tick tick). By now it's about 4:15 and the store closes at 5, since it's about 20 minutes away across town I hop in the car and take off. Of course since the weather is so bad there is an accident on the way and it takes me twice as long to get there but I do, just in time. I pick up my glaze and race back home to start my glazing.
It is now almost 6 by the time I get back home and in the studio. It takes me a few hours to glaze but I manage to get everything loaded by 9, which is exactly when it starts to monsoon again and other leaks start popping up. Bah! I am wet-vacing again! I hate the rain today!
1. If it's the weekend before a major show do NOT drink too much wine at a wedding on Saturday and decide that you can have Sunday off to laze out on the couch.
2. In a pinch, modeling clay will stop a leak.
I will let you know how the firing comes out.