Thursday, September 30, 2010

Bad day..

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!

Lessons learned:
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.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More white pots

Hi again! Two days in a row...aren't you impressed? Here are some photos I took quickly today of the porcelain pots I pulled out of the kiln last night. Like I said yesterday, still not there yet. I need the glaze to be thin but when it's thin enough to not pull the prints, it's too thin on the rim. Maybe my rims are just to thin structure wise? It's different from working with the red clay for sure. Any advice on glazing? I was thinking about a slightly more matt glaze on the interior and rim in the hopes that it won't break as thin. Any ideas or recipes for a good liner glaze?
I was also thinking of leaving the exterior bare with just a liner spilling over the edge like in these pots but I'm not sure how they will hold up to daily use.
This one came out nice, it most resembles my work in the red clay. I really prefer some sort of color on the interior.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photo love

Ok, ok, ok! I didn't forget about you's just that things have been kinda busy around here and the blog had fallen off of my "to do" list. I'm putting it back on though....I swear! I've been playing around with a little more white clay, porcelain this time. It's not quite there yet but it behaved way better than the little loafers. I was getting some major weird cracking and it didn't like the pressure of me printing on it AT ALL. The porcelain is better at that but I still haven't gotten the glazing down yet. It takes such a thin coating for the prints to not run but then it can get too thin and the surface doesn't feel comfortable for use....if you know what I mean. I'll be taking some pics of the latest pieces soon but for now I'll just share this photo I took today for my Lillyella post that goes up tomorrow.
You can check it (scroll down to Slow Food in a Modern Kitchen for previous posts) but you have to wait until tomorrow for my popcorn post! Really I'm just liking this picture right now and am feeling pretty proud of myself for taking a nice shot (among many many more that were not nice at all) that's kinda food photographer-ish. Maybe all those hours pouring over food blogs and home magazines "in the name of research" has finally paid off!