Saturday, October 3, 2015

As The Wheel Turns: Firing, Fear and Faith.

Lately, I've been full of excuses.  It's too hot to work.  The kiln will make the house too hot.  The pieces need to cool off or dry out.  I'm too busy doing pr work for my open studios group.  My husband's on vacation.  I have to tidy up the kitchen or the garden or the garage.  Ok, that was the real tip off here because I hate cleaning the garage.

Procrastination.  Plain and simple.  I'm putting off the next phase of my work: glaze firing.  

Why am I putting it off? Let me count the's messy.  It takes a lot of set up to just get to mixing the glaze; getting out all the buckets and bowls and mixers and tongs and brushes and newspapers and towels.  Lots and lots of towels.  The glaze has to be just the right thickness and once that's achieved, there's the constant mixing while glazing to keep all the chemicals mixed.  If anything sinks to the bottom and you don't stir, the glaze doesn't cover nicely.

Then, there's the chemicals and fear.  After using heavy metal paints and pastels and metal patinas, I'm afraid of the chemicals in my glazes.  I know it doesn't make sense, but I get worried about contamination in my home environment because my studio is in my home.  So I wear long sleeves, long pants, an apron, gloves and shroud my areas with newspapers and towels.

Finally, after all the angst, procrastination and paranoid preparations, I did get my pieces glazed and loaded into the kiln.  Now, comes another not too fun part, waiting with fingers crossed that nothing cracked or blew up. 

Here's what I do know: it was not too hot and the house stayed cool. Now, I need to stay cool, too and have a little faith in my clay, my process and, me.  Ah, faith...that word of the year again.

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