Saturday, January 23, 2016

Firing the Kiln in a Blizzard

A foot of snow and the blizzard is only half over.
Although the space heaters do a good job of keeping the studio warm, the very cold weather this past week has been a bit of challenge. Fortunately, I was ready with a kiln load to help keep the studio warm and cozy.

I fire overnight to save energy and money. The power company has installed a meter that records our hourly electricity usage so that now we can schedule things like running the kiln or charging the Nissan Leaf during non-peak hours, saving money and reducing our impact on the power grid.
Bisqued pots ready for unloading

I ran a bisque load overnight on Friday, January 15th and had a very warm studio on Saturday. The week was spent preparing the bisqued ware and glazing. All the pots were cleaned and the feet waxed. Then came the glazing and again, some more careful checking and cleaning of the glazed pots. 

Loading the kiln always takes me longer than I expect it to. I enjoy the puzzle quality of loading and stacking shelves and pots in the most efficient manner. Like a lot of other things about making pots, it can be very meditative. Although this time I was more in the mood for rock and roll than meditation, so I happily danced around while glazing.

Pots washed and waxed, ready for glazing
I decided to throw caution (and worries about power outages during the *historic* blizzard of 2016) to the wind and ran a glaze firing last night (Friday, January 22nd). The kiln ran mostly after 10pm and the firing was completed at 1:30am. Opening the kiln probably won't happen until tomorrow sometime. But today, I can work in the warm studio and ignore the piling snow. No worries about cold hands and cold feet!

I make an awful mess when I glaze!
There's a foot of snow outside now (noon on 1/23/16) and it's supposed to keep snowing at least until tonight. The wind has picked up in the last hour. 

I am very grateful that I am in a warm house with a fully-loaded Kindle and a warm studio. I am grateful that my 5 kids and their families are also warm at home and the grandchildren are reportedly having a great time playing in the snow. Life is good!

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