Tuesday, November 5, 2013

French Butter Dishes

I've avoided these things for years. At first I wasn't too sure what they were, then I was told about them and told that they kept the butter cool, which I didn't believe so I discounted the whole idea of them, and then I turned against them because of a bad customer experience.

It's been long enough now that I think I can tell this story without incriminating the guilty.

Two Ladies (I use the term not as it is normally used) asked me to make them a sample item. They called and were determined to come out to the Studio. They had a sketch of what they wanted.... all of about an inch square, with dimensions marked in pencil. I squinted and agreed to make one. They refused to tell me what it was and why they wanted it. I should have known better but went ahead and made it.

They came out again and brought their poodle. A tiny thing, apparently called a Teacup Poodle. Whatever it was, it was nasty. They had it on one of those retractable leases but after a few minutes of gushing about the dear dear dog they pretty much ignored it. It went about anointing every vertical object in the Studio, and if you are only about 6" high, there are a lot of them.

This time they wanted another piece made. Same story - a sketch about an inch square, measurements I couldn't read - and again they refused to tell me what it was. But they did let slip that they wanted me to make a prototype for something they were going to mass produce and sell at home parties. I asked them if it was a French Butter Dish (but a badly sized one) and they denied it vigourously.

They came again. The poodle did it again.

I told them that if they were planning to mass produce French Butter Dishes they should hire a company that does that and they should do some serious thinking about the size and design of these things. We did not, as they say, part as friends.

I washed and then sprayed all vertical objects with bleach up to the 6" line, again.

Then there were a few years that you couldn't sell a butter dish no matter what you did. People wouldn't admit they ate butter. Butter was Bad. I resorted to calling my butter dishes margarine dishes and making them to fit the little plastic containers margarine comes in.

Now, butter must be back in favour because I have sold many this summer. And I have been getting requests for French Butter Dishes. So I made a few, and we'll see how they go. I think they are a bit silly, they don't hold much butter and I would find changing the water every day a pain, but if they'll sell, I'll make them.

Here are a few, not dried yet. The idea is that you pack the butter (when soft) in the top, put a bit of water in the bottom, and place the top into the base. The water seals off the butter and it doesn't spoil.

I won't tell the customers that such a small amount of butter without a water seal also won't spoil before it is eaten!

And I'll try not to think of poodles while talking about them.

P.S. Those things in the background really are mittens. They are terra-cotta and will get bunches of greenery and red ribbons to hang them on doors and they are a pain to make but very popular and very Christmas-y. Super Helper does not like making them, and after this week, neither do I! But they are nice, and it wouldn't be Christmas without 'em.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Please, do not adjust your set....

If you are a really old potter, like me, you will remember that message! Remember how it would come up occasionally when the TV transmission was bad? OK, maybe I'm the only one old enough....

But, if you are wondering why I haven't been posting, that is the reason. The video card in my computer packed up and left for Saturn, leaving me with a nice black (not blue, but still bad) screen. I was able to attach a smaller screen, bypassing the video card, but it has the wrong aspect ratio and everything on my screen is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d, making all dogs look like Dachies, all pots look like short bowls....

I'll post again once I get a new video card (or a new computer).

The scary thing is, w-i-d-e letters are starting to look normal!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Shaw Woods Mugs

Spent a large part of last week decorating some mugs for the Shaw Woods. They are having an open day next Sunday, Oct. 6, with guided hikes, workshops, information and some fund-raising items. And some of those will be my mugs!

I worked hard at painting them, holding my (metaphorical) breath on the subject of DOTS.

My pots look so nice when they are painted and before they are fired! I almost don't want to fire them. Of course they look soft and 'dusty' and pale.... but full of hope.

Happily, sometimes they come out of the firing still looking good!

And no dots, whew.

P.S. You can get more info about the Shaw Woods, and register for one of the public hikes, at their website. If you are in the area (Ottawa), come out and enjoy a great day in a special place. And maybe you'll see my mugs there!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Safety First

For those just thinking of setting up a pottery studio, or for anyone whose workplace could use a safety tune-up, I've put together a short list of aids to safety that you don't want to be without.

One of the biggest worries is, of course, fire. Make sure you have a good fire extinguisher:

Sometimes the power will go off, leaving you all alone is a pitch-black studio filled with tables, wheels, wet clay, sleeping dogs to trip over.... An emergency lighting system is a must.

Of course, if you can afford it, an auxiliary power supply is even better.

Industrial accidents are another big concern. As they say, accidents do happen. Make sure you are prepared.

And if all else fails, make sure you have what you need to call for help.

With a little foresight, you ought to be able to enjoy years of happy potting without disaster. All it takes is a little advance planning.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Butter Dishes

Made a nice batch of butter dishes. I glazed them in solid colours, except for the 'Bird' design ones - some pale green, some yellow, some turquoise, some medium blue, some deep indigo blue. I played with the handles and made strap handles, bird handles, loopy handles.... striped and dotted ones. Lots of fun!

Taking the photo to show one of them on my Facebook page (Pine Ridge Studio is on Facebook) was difficult. I just couldn't get it to look like much. Luckily my friend Janice happened by with a lovely gift of ripe tomatoes from her garden and I grabbed her. Her painter's eye quickly zeroed in on using the darker areas of the image to create a dynamic composition.

Notice the neat triangle made by the bird, the dark vase, and the butter knife. Thank you, Janice!

Now, just don't ask me why flowers because I don't know. I just thought they would look fresh with the butter and I think of breakfast, which is when I like butter on my toast, as a fresh time of day.

And no dots, you'll notice.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dots, grrrrrrr.....

Well, it's back to square one, folks.

A longer, slower bisque firing had no effect. I didn't think it would. How can stuff that is supposed to burn out at cone 06 affect things at cone 6? Unless my brain is slipping a gear, I can't see the connection. Anyway, it didn't make any difference. Dots and more dots....

Unless it is something really subtle about the firing (the glaze firing, that is), I guess it is the clay. Maybe the first batch of the clay I got to test  - remember, I switched clay bodies to try to get away from the problem of teapots cracking after a year or two of use - was not the same as this clay now. Every batch is a wee bit different, I am thinking. I am sure there was no problem with dots when I decided to make the switch. I would have noticed at once.

So now I am trying two things: a bunch of things thrown using the old clay and glazed in the current batch of glaze, and some in the new clay using slightly different versions of the glaze. Maybe a version with slightly more frit will melt a bit more and the dots either won't form or will heal over at temperature. Or a version with slightly less opacifier might not form dots. I tested both of those ideas a week ago and got no dots on either, but I didn't think it likely both ideas would have worked, so decided to discount those tests. Maybe I was too quick about that.

Come to think of it, I should try a small batch of this glaze with no opacifier and see if it gets dots. I'll go do that right now, a glaze firing is coming up in the next day or two so I'll go and get it ready. Put it on both clays and see what happens.

One thing that makes this problem frustrating is the lack of information on it. Every reference to 'dots' that I have found so far just says that they are a known issue in maiolica work, but suggestions on how to fix the problem are scarce. Basically, 'use a different glaze' and 'use a different clay' and 'use a different technique' and 'just accept it' are about it for suggestions..... like I said, square one.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dots.... Onwards in the Quest

Well, I'm still working on the dots problem. For a day or two I actually thought that it might be due to over-firing as the shelf with the worst case of the dots was definitely over-fired, but then reality set in.

I fired another load of maiolica-type work and made sure to have witness cones on every shelf. This confirmed that the bottom of the kiln was over-firing. I debated switching the top and bottom thermocouples but in the end didn't and just went back to my old system of having a deep space on the bottom and shallower spaces higher up the kiln, and placing a kiln shelf right at the top. I also went back to leaving the top peep hole open. Don't ask me why this works, but for me it does. Maybe my kiln vent is just weird, but it worked before with the manual kiln and is working again now with this computer-controlled one. The original thermocouples gave a very even firing, but this second set clearly doesn't. So I at least learned that much. The firing was much more even.

But dots appeared on every shelf.

Then I sent an SOS out on Clayart, a list I belong to. This list (if you aren't on it, you should be) has some super helpful and knowledgeable people on it, and I got a number of responses. Some of the suggestions made were: could be the opacifier; fire the bisque higher or longer to be sure it is well cleared; re-screen the glaze; could be the clay; could be a change in glaze material; try another glaze; fire slower.

I tried re-screening the glaze first. Easiest thing to check! This had no real effect except that I did realize that the thickness of the glaze slurry had drifted and it needed more dilution. I mix large batches of this white glaze, keep it in a laundry tub for dipping large pieces, and just add to it whenever the level goes down too far. That doesn't mean it doesn't get screened except when being mixed, though. I periodically re-screen the whole batch. The frit (F3134) is somewhat soluble, and I think it gets used up differentially. So I sometimes add a titch of frit and that means re-screening and testing. Plus the glaze sometimes develops tiny granules. They dissolve when I touch them, but I figure they can't be good so when I see more than one or two on a glazed piece, I re-screen. But in fact this glaze had been standing more than usual lately, because I have been making stuff in a couple of plain colours in order to have lower-priced pieces to sell. So it made sense to try that first.

Unfortunately, as I said, that had no effect.

I couldn't really try a different opacifier. I have been using Superpax and it is not a new bag. Tin Oxide has lots of problems, not the least of which is that it is expensive. So I don't want to get into that. Plus the small amount I have has crystallized badly....

I tried a slower, slightly higher bisque. This had no noticeable effect either. One problem I have, my Studio is in a rural area, and our electric current fluctuates. We are supposed to have 'time of use' pricing, that is, hydro is supposed to be cheaper during the off-peak hours. I have tried firing at night, but have found that the firings take longer so I'm not sure I'm ahead at all. I've tried to talk to my hydro supplier, but they don't talk to humans. Long story short, my bisque firings, all on the 'slow bisque' program my kiln has, vary between 8.5 and 14 hours. That's not particularly fast. Still, I tried a cone 05 firing to see if it made a difference, but it didn't seem to.

None of my glaze materials are new, and none are particularly old, or have gotten damp or frozen or any other such thing.

Yes, I have changed clay. But I changed clay months ago, and for three months there were no dots. No pinholes, no bubbles, no dots.

I really don't want to change to a completely new glaze. I could try my clear glaze with opacifier, but it doesn't take the colours nearly as well as my white one does.

And fire slower? How can I when the current fluctuates so much? I can program to my heart's content, but if the elements don't get the power they need, they are going to slow down. Glaze firings also vary a lot, everywhere from 6.8 hours to 12.6. I log every firing, so I know.

So what to do? Well, I tried two things in the latest load: a batch of glaze with 3% more frit 3134, and a batch with 2% less Superpax.  I dipped a mug, new clay, slow-bisqued to cone 06, in each, plus one in the large glaze batch in the tub.

Here is the result. They were all on the same shelf in a well-loaded but not tight, kiln. The witness cone is nicely bent over, tip touching the little plate I put it on. The firing to cone 6 took 8.51 hours.

The left-hand mug, with the tomatoes, is the glaze in the large tub. The middle one, with the peas showing, is the low Superpax version (it is slightly less white), and the carrots are the higher frit version.


Boy, am I confused now.

 Well, guess I'll go drive the garbage out to the road for tomorrow's collection - they come so darn early I have to do it the night before and hope the critters don't get into it, ravens or racoons or skunks or the neighbour's dog - and let my subconscious work on the problem overnight.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Dotty Update

One thing about pottery, it is not quick. Just figuring out what happened to cause all those 'dots' I talked about last post took me a week, and I was lucky  it was only one week. I found the problem right away.

I re-fired several of the mugs, each on a different shelf in the kiln. I made sure to have large witness cones near each one.


The bottom shelf was almost a full cone over-fired. The witness cone for Cone 7 was fully over. The other shelves were the Cone 6 as I expected.

So I'm figuring the problem is the thermo-couple at the bottom of the kiln. This problem of 'dots' has been creeping up on a me a bit so I guess the thermo-couple has been failing gradually. I just didn't twig to the fact that it was always the pieces on the bottom that were acquiring a 'dotty' nature in the firing.

Well. Lesson learned. From now on I will put in witness cones at least every 3rd or 4th firing. I've been slack about that. They tell you to use them every firing, but with a computer-controlled kiln it is hard to convince yourself to actually do it. Especially in really full loads.... and especially when you stop to think of how much those darn things cost.

Re-firing didn't affect the dots, by the way. They neither got worse nor got better. And I even tried applying dabs of colour to the dots and re-firing and that didn't work because I couldn't get enough on to really cover the white.

Another learning experience.... if I learn from my mistakes, I'm going to be awful smart some day.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Yesterday, I wandered into the Studio early, coffee cup in hand. It was Sunday and I used that as my excuse for not planning to work as usual. I'm old enough to remember when Sundays were Sundays, and sometimes I still use the day as an excuse to do what I feel like doing instead of what I should be doing. I had the vague idea that I'd look over some of the challenges I've been working on lately and maybe there would have been a miracle overnight, or else there would be some sort of inspiration, maybe a flash of light, a drum roll, a voice from above, something like that, solving my problems for me.

No such luck. The travel mugs I'd so looked forward to seeing out of the kiln on Friday were still 'spotty'. This is a problem with low-fire majolica, but sometimes I see it on my Cone 6 stoneware too. Usually I just see one or two tiny white dots, but in this case every mug has lots wherever there is colour.

All the mugs suffered from severe 'dottiness'. (Usually it is just the potter who suffers from 'dottiness' around here.) They had all been on the bottom shelf in the kiln.... none of the pieces on the higher shelves seemed to have any dots.... so, my guess, it must be that the bottom shelf was slighter cooler than the upper ones. Or hotter, or the vent system didn't affect it the same, or I put too much colour on the mugs or any other ideas?

Another problem looking for a solution is a little oval soap dish. We won't discuss the fact that this is a commission and I didn't insist on charging my usual development fee. Should have, then I wouldn't have to be futsing around trying to make very small oval dishes with closely matching lids. The customer was absolutely adamant about the design, the size, the shape, the weight. He had worked hard to get to my studio and I didn't have the heart to say 'no', but I should have.

 Now, this would be dead easy in a round shape, but the customer wants to match an oval one he has. It is less than 4" long and weighs practically nothing. Earthenware, slip cast, decorated with a decal.... what was I thinking to even consider this?

I make my slab pieces over plaster molds.  Lots of people make theirs into plaster molds, but I find that then I have to make a template, cut the clay carefully, ease it into the mold and try to shape it without making thick corners.... my system is easier, more flexible, less annoying and usually works great. I also like the fact that I can change the edges of the dish more easily. But the trouble with this little thing is that it warps in the firing.

If you look carefully, you can see that the top piece doesn't sit quite down on the bottom piece near the middle of the long side. And the two pieces were fired together.This is my third attempt and the dishes aren't getting any better. What to try next? I'll try making the clay slab a mite thicker. The customer might not like that as the dish will be heavier, but I can't think of much else to try. The two pieces fit perfectly at the leatherhard stage and seem to be OK at the bisqued stage, but they warp in the glaze firing. Any uneveness in the wall of the piece will cause warping in the final firing, and the shape itself has no built-in integrity. In my flat dishes I make the edges with a little 'wave' to them, and then a slight warp doesn't show. Can't do that here.

Anyway, I mooned around the Studio for a while looking at these things and also the rectangular butter dish I am trying to develop and finally decided maybe it should be a gardening day. After all, it was Sunday.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

State of the Week

Yep. Nothing but dumb picky stuff to do in the Studio..... rain, dark clouds, wind, rain..... mosquitoes the size of, well, Smartass..... rain..... can't go out in the garden, too soggy.....mosquitoes like a bad mood.... can't throw new pots, have to get that $#@#@order done.... yellow stain too yellow.... rain.... mosquitoes in the Studio while I'm trying to paint pansies on mugs..... rain....

And it isn't even Friday yet.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Coming Up for Air

That's kind of what I feel like now, like I'm coming up for air! I've worked hard the last couple of months and made lots of pots, including some substantial orders, and now I feel like I can coast for a little while and do some gardening.

The Carp Farmers' Market is open again, the Maple Run Studio Tour is over and went well, I've got pots in a couple of stores for the season..... life is sweet.

Here's a picture of the Maple Syrup Jugs I made for the Tour and the first few weeks of the Market:

The pancakes look pretty good, too, eh!

Then I made some Asparagus dishes and small jugs for the Market opening:

Of course the name is a pun - but I figure you can serve asparagus very nicely on these. You can put the dishes in the oven and warm them before putting the asparagus on, and keep them a bit warmer at the table. Asparagus cools so fast! And of course you need lots of Hollandaise sauce to go with it....

Happy Long Weekend! I hope yours has some asparagus and Hollandaise in it!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Busy Time

A very busy time lately! Surprising, because normally the Winter and Spring are nice peaceful head-down working-in-the-studio seasons.

Did a dinnerware order - several smaller orders - studio tour in March (went well) - Easter Market at the end of March - also went well but quieter than usual - now a rush to get stuff made for the start of the Market season in early May. Add in several group events such as postponed Christmas potlucks, two family birthdays and my local arts society's Mini Conference, and you can see why I'm going to have to hustle to get my income tax done in time. Not that I do it, I have a great retired accountant who does the actual work, but I have to get my records together and organized.

The Mini Conference was something any creative person in the Ottawa area might be interested in. We had some great speakers, a fab lunch, even background music! And of course, lots of discussion. I hate that word 'networking' but I guess that is what you'd call it. Me, I don't 'network'. I 'talk and listen to people'. 'Networking' makes it sound like we are machines and I do not want to be a machine.

I've put a link in the sidebar to the West Carleton Arts Society. The info about next year's Mini-Conf will be up soon and you might want to consider it for next year. A nice boost to your creativity, encouragement, and new friends, can't lose by that.

Speaking of creativity, I'm dreaming up some new projects and I'm wondering what new ideas you might be considering. Anybody want to kick off a discussion by leaving a comment? I'd love to hear your plans!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Clay Tests

It's been a while since I posted.... been busy! One thing that always gets me about doing pottery is how much waiting is involved. Of course I kept busy by interleaving other tasks, but just making some tiles, firing them and then testing them for crazing, etc., seemed to take forever.

First I visited my trusty clay retailer. I was surprised to find that my favourite clay maker* had 5 or 6 white, cone 6, clays available. I had thought there were only 2 or 3. So I got a box of each of the un-grogged ones.

Then I made some 1/2" thick tiles, about 5" square of each clay, including the one I usually use. Then they had to dry. Then I fired them to cone 6, with witness cones right beside them to make sure of the temperature reached. Then I quickly weighed them while they were still warm.

Then I boiled the suckers. Over 2 hours in a huge pot of boiling water.

Then I weighed them all again.

Then I calculated how much moisture each had absorbed, and expressed it in a percentage. (For those who are interested, subtract dry weight from wet, then multiply the result by 100, then divide by the dry weight.)

Shock! Awe!

My 'usual' clay, the one I have been using for years now, had an absorbency of around 2.25%. This was almost the highest of the ones I tested! No wonder I am having trouble with delayed thermal shock. Luckily, one of the others came out to about 0.9 %.

Then I took all the tiles and put them in the freezer overnight and the next day dropped them into boiling water. This was scary, I almost felt like I should 'suit up' in some kind of protective gear, but in actual fact nothing happened.

None of them crazed. Of course, to test for delayed thermal shock, I'm going to have to keep doing it. Since I only like one of the new clays I tested, I'm only going to test it and my 'usual' one. Freezing and boiling every day or so for a month or two should separate the women from the kiddies....

All the glazes worked well with my two production glazes, in fact the clay that had the least absorbency also looks the best with my white glaze. Here's a picture of it with my clear glaze and some brush strokes of the main colours I use. You can see they all work pretty well. BTW, these brush strokes are on top of the unfired glaze, because that is how I work.

Can it really be this easy????

* I put a little 'star' here to explain that I am not going to mention which company's clays I am using. They are a terrific company and I am most grateful to them for keeping us supplied with excellent and dependable clays. They do not claim oven-proof-ness for any of their clays, and they point out (quite correctly) that it is up to us potters to regularly test our products. And no, I do not have any other connection with them than as a customer!

Friday, January 18, 2013


Looks like there may be a major change bearing down on my pottery life. For years I have used a procelain-type of clay called 6-50, made by Tucker's in Toronto. It fires very white and smooth, throws very well, hand-builds not too badly for my platters and flat dishes, and I have gradually worked out my problems with glazes and firing.

But I have had to avoid making ovenware.

Too many pie plates came back cracked.

The other on-going problem has been that occasionally someone will report that their teapot has cracked. I have had to replace a number of them. Last year I didn't hear from even one customer about that, so I was starting to think maybe I was homefree. Not so. Right after Christmas a young woman called and said her teapot had cracked..... she had only used it for one year.... she was conscientious about pre-warming.... Bad words ran through my head (but stopped before exiting) and a heavy growly feeling descended on me. Going into the Studio became a not altogether happy thing.

Co-incidentally, there was discussion on Clayart, a list I follow, about ovenware. I asked my question: "Is it possible to make ovenware at cone 6?"

Of course I got some of the expected answers: it was my glaze, it was the shape of the piece, nobody else ever had a problem, my customers were obviously dumb users, yada yada. In the middle of this I did get a useful response talking about thermal shock. That rang the bell.

I always did say it was the clay that cracked, not the glaze. And the cracks did not occur at 'edges' or 'corners', they occurred in the middles of flat surfaces or walls.

Apparently, thermal shock can happen after numerous small shocks.

The only answer: switch clays.

I'm going to test the other Tucker's white cone 6 clays but I am not optimistic. I've already tried them and both gave me other problems. But I'll try again, and if neither of them work for me, I'll have to try another company's clays. I want to support Tuckers' - they have helped me a lot in the past, but enough already. I need to make pie plates and casseroles.

I'm trying to see this as just another adventure! I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

To-Do Lists

Most days, I start off with a pretty clear idea of what I intend to work on during the day. I may not write it down, but I usually have a list in my head of what I want to accomplish.

Unfortunately, it's generally straight downhill from there.

Now, if you were to go back and read my to-do list for today, not that you would, but supposing you did, what would you see? 'Vacuum and dust, wash kitchen floor, glaze new mugs to replace the ones that came out of the kiln yesterday which aren't good enough, balance the books for the business, practice recorder for 15 minutes, update daily journal, plan tomorrow, get to bed on time'. Not a bad list, right?

But what really happens?

Well, it's noon and I'm thinking of lunch. Boiled some eggs, am debating whether to have toast or salad with them. The vacuuming is about half done. Kitchen is a worse mess than before because I decided to turn out the dog food cupboard. Bits of stale dog chow all over, including one or two walked into the living room. Dog is lying on the carpet in the living room morosely eyeing them.. Both computers are running stuff other than accounting. In the Studio,the mugs are assembled near the glaze bucket but that is as far as I got. The ferns needed watering and I did some, but then I ran out of water so brought the pail into the house and got side-tracked into boiling eggs. Husband came home from his medical appointment and wanted lunch. Refused to eat eggs. I'm not doing well in the menu-planning department. Threw some laundry into the machine, including a huge navy-blue tablecloth.

...read a couple of chapters of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin. Am re-reading her novels with particular attention to how she points out the unfairness of measuring people's, especially women's, worth, by how much wealth they do or do not have. We condemn Eastern cultures for de-valueing women except when well-dowered, but our own culture is not far removed from the same.

(Note to self: do not wash white underwear in the same load as large navy-blue tablecloths.)

Untied and ironed all the red cotton bows used for Christmas. This doesn't really need to be done as I won't need them again until next Christmas, but I'm feeling virtuous about doing it at least 11 months early. Plus it gets them out of the living room.

Need water to add to the glaze for the mugs; went back to the house to get some. Couldn't find the pail at first. Turns out I left it outside the door.

Courier company came and dropped off gift cards sent by my merchant credit card supplier. I didn't want them, but they were free and the company was very determined to send them to me. Seemed less trouble to take them than to keep on refusing them. Read over the accompanying blurb, and yup, I won't be using them.

Had an egg and a chocolate cupcake for lunch. We will not be telling the diet police about this.

Went out for a short snow-shoe after lunch. The sun came out for a little while and fooled me into thinking I wanted to do this. Actually,. I am planning a longer snow-shoeing trip soon and need to get into better shape. Plodded around for half an hour and was thankful to get home again, hot and out of breath. Kip (faithful pooch) seemed equally glad to get back. We both need to get back in shape. Amazing how much fitness you lose in only a month or so.  Mind you, the snow is deep and it was warm today so it was also wet and sticky. Good to have an excuse!

Can't do the kitchen floor. I got one of those electric floor washer dealies which uses a proprietory washing solution and it is empty. Also I can't figure out how to attach the scrubbing pads.... where are printed instructions when you need them.... oh, wait, I threw those out.

Fussed around about the mugs. I hate to fire only 6 mugs in the large kiln, but the small kiln is totally on its last legs. Do I risk one more firing or not.... would it even reach cone 6 in under three days..... I took the cover off the switch box and tried to see if the connectors were in good enough shape for me to change the elements one more time. Maybe. I'd also have to do something about the crumbling bricks in the centre ring. Probably wedges cut from a spare brick and carefully placed and pinned would work. Now I need to decide, would the cost of new elements be justified. In any case, it won't help for this set of mugs. So I either fire them in the large kiln, by themselves, or risk them in the small kiln and maybe have to do them a third time. I could make other stuff to fill the large kiln, but I need those mugs done now.

My accounts do not balance. They have no intention of ever balancing. I will never get my year-end done. I'm a disgrace to accounting. Blah. It's the program's fault. OK, I'll go over it all again. Must have put some item in the wrong account. I'm only out $43.01; maybe I'll make an entry called 'correction to expenses accounts'. I understand the really big companies do this all the time.

Eggs for supper.

It's amazing how much  you can accomplish in a day if you have a good to-do list.