It’s a very hot day; I would like to be sitting in the garden but I can’t.
I’m kiln sitting indoors where it is hot, though it’s a lot hotter in the garage where the kiln has been on for four and a half hours.
I stacked four shelves full of everything, which was a bit all or nothing. I meant to take a photograph but I didn’t because I was so keen to get the kiln on and find out if I have just wasted four months of my life or not.
I never leave the kiln when it’s on; I stay within earshot because you can hear the plik as the gate falls shutting the kiln off when it has reached the 1200 degrees needed to turn the ware into porcelain and drive every little jacket of air that surrounds each molecule of clay out through the clay body and………..where?
Back into the universe, I suppose. It’s part of the cycle by which nothing is destroyed or created which was not part of the universe previously. It’s a system you have to admire. The atoms of the universe are arranged into so many different things, you and me, for example.
Waiting for a kiln to go off, cool down and be opened up is more akin to waiting for the birth of a baby than waiting for the arrival of a bus. Either are an exercise in cultivating patience but at least you know what the bus is going to look like.
To fit everything in they had to be close together. One has to wonder – how have they shrunk? Has any piece fallen over and stuck to another? The gas stoves were particularly dodgy, they fell like a row of dominoes each time I lifted the shelf. Most of the pieces were assemblies – have I inadvertently left…..
It’s gone off. It’s switched itself off on the timer at five hours. Oh dear. Either I haven’t allowed enough time for the amount of ware or the number of shelves or the elements have degraded and are taking longer to heat up. Going by the glow under the lid I think it was nearly there. Have I just wasted the firing? Will I open it to find that none of the glazes have matured?
I don’t even know if the glazes will work. Most are designed for much larger pieces. I don’t know of anyone else making glazed porcelain in 48th scale, so there wasn’t anyone else to ask.
There could be a disaster in there but I can’t find out until it has cooled right down, which will mean tomorrow. If I opened it now it would melt my eyeballs. The glazes right now will be like molten toffee. If I took any pieces out in a couple of hours they would immediately crack from thermal shock.
It’s just as well I don’t bite my nails. I’d have none left.
Incidentally the latest AIM magazine is out now at www.artisansinminiature.com and all purchases from the shop on this site are postage and packaging free for the whole of August.
More tomorrow when I open the kiln.
JaneLaverick.com – cliffhanging.