"Water water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink!"
In other words, like the ancient mariner, lost at sea (man, that dude comes up a lot for me lately), I am adrift in a sea of projects, so much so that it looks, here, as though I am doing nothing at all.
But I promise. I am. Busy bee, that's me.
I am getting read for my annual Open Studio Art Sale! Year four, and really working hard. My sale is the only way our family can afford to have Christmas, so it's a pretty big deal to me. All other worthy and partially completed projects have hit pause (don't lose faith in me, Ellen!). I am working till about 2 am each day, and when we aren't doing school, I can be found in the studio (except when I'm at rehearsal, but more on that later). The children are raising themselves for the next few weeks. I wish them very well. Don't ask me about my house. I will just get crabby at you.
There have been a few glitches this year with my sale. I really have focused a lot of energy on pottery, since people seem reluctant to pound a nail in their wall to hang a painting (it's a little hole people, not a remodel!), but bringing home a pretty little vase or bowl seems less intimidating (if you decide later it was a mistake, you can just stick it in the bathroom cupboard to hold Q-tips and floss, right?). I was so excited and nervous to fire up my kiln for the first time! I loaded it three levels deep with shelves on pillars, and then unloaded it (oops, forgot to put in the pyrometric cone plaques - little cones of clay that melt at a certain heat so you know when your kiln is hot enough), then reloaded it, then unloaded it to move all the support pillars (it turns out that to peek in to actually SEE the cone plaques, you probably shouldn't block the peep holes with supports), then LOADED IT. At one point, because I was holding it wrong, as I leaned over with the largest, most beautiful bowl I have ever made, the weight of the bowl snapped the edge I held, sending it crashing down on top of two more bowls, breaking all three. The lessons in patience go on and on. But finally, I was all loaded, thrice and for all.
I checked and triple checked to make sure everything was in order. I nervously pushed the on switch, and then parked my booty on the cement floor to see the show.
Ever watched paint dry? Yeah, it goes a smidgen faster than firing a kiln, only you don't get that fume-induced euphoria. After a while my ol' lady butt asked why we were sitting on cement, and I decided that the mosey-in-and-out method of kiln watching better suited me. All went quite well until it was time to switch to high-fire (begin suspenseful music, here).
Blew a breaker. Popped it back on. Lather, rinse, repeat x 2.
It turns out that my kiln isn't like my jeans. Even though my tush is a definite 14, I can squeeeeeeze into a stretchy 12 if I'm slightly dehydrated and had a lot of fiber the day before. But no amount of greasing the zipper and hanging upside-down off the bed will let you squeeze 30.5 amps through a 30 amp breaker (wow, not just TMI, but TMI with visuals. You're welcome).
The solution? Well, the short answer is an electrician and $500, but the truth entails many trips to a ceramics studio 12 miles away and the loss of several pots in transit, because, well, I don't pack well, that's why.
So what looks like the Blog Sahara Desert is really an underground river, moving fast and hard (or a tornado, by the look of my house). I'm here somewhere under two coats of glaze, a pile of wool, three layers of candle wax and a stack of beads, but I promise I will post as soon as I get my first load back from being fired.
If you are interested and live locally, the girls and I are in a musical production that opens this weekend and plays through December 5th, called "Savior of the World". It is the biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ put to lovely music and with an awesome cast. I am honored to play the mother of Mary. And my girls? Well, they are the best "towns people" you ever laid eyes on!