Monday, 17 February 2014
Something is wrong with the kiln again, and I’m waiting for the electrician as we speak. The glaze tests fired OK, and I loaded the next batch for the glaze firing; and sometime during the night the kiln stopped working. Very very disappointing. I hope the kiln can be repaired...and soon.
In the mean time, I am making... I need to make 180 – 6(for the base) triangles. It is kind of nice to be in the making routine. When I walk into the studio, I know exactly what I’m meant to be doing. ...and I just make. There are days when mind likes to wander while the hands are busy, but then there are days when it gets inpatient and bored and it wants to be doing something else. On those days I listen to audio lectures. At the moment, highly appropriate: “Philosophy, religion and the meaning of life”.
I have also done a bit of research on Buckminster Fuller (architect and philosopher who popularized geodesic spheres) and found series of lectures recorded live: “Buckminster Fuller – Everything I know”. They are on the waiting list to be listened to next.
But I digress....
I need to make only 27 more triangles + spares. Studio is becoming really cluttered with shapes in various stages of making, drying and waiting for glazing and firing.
Bread crates are really handy way to store ( and transport) lots of work in a condensed space:
Electrician was here, found a loose wire (!!!) and the kiln is ON again. I really hope I get more then one firing out of it before something goes wrong again. I feel like I'm a month behind already.
Problem with not being able to fire work as it is ready is in the broken feed-back loop. Every step of the process has different issues and requires a degree of problem solving. If I'm not able to see the results, I can't change/improve process of making.
For example, I have discovered that the two types of clay I am using ( hand-building & porcelain) have so different shrinkage rate that the little "planktons" (picture below) I was putting on the underside of triangles fell of the triangles in the glaze firing. ( Yes of course. porcelain shrinks so much more).
So I stopped making them and it considerably reduced the time needed for each triangle. (But I only found that out after I made 80 or so....).
And now to wait for the first full batch to finish glaze firing. I can fit 26-27 triangles in the kiln, and if it all goes well will be able to see results in 2 days.