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A big welcome to old friends and new. Follow my crafting adventures as I take you on a journey through the daily life of a creative crafter. Experience the successes and disappointments that are all part of my working day, but most of all, enjoy the ride.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Kilns Have Their Uses

I have now begun listing some of my ceramic creations in my Folksy online shop - www.folksy.com/shops/chicita. This pair of pretty bowls is the first of many items to be included, and as I'm planning to load the kiln and fire it up tomorrow I got to thinking of the additional advantages of having one in the house. Mine is located in the workshop (aka spare bedroom) where I do all my making, drying, firing and glazing, as well as the ironing. When the kiln has reached 1000C the workshop is so warm that you could almost imagine being on holiday in the Med.

I take advantage of the temperature by putting my homemade bread dough in the room to rise. Believe me, it doesn't take long. Even though I have the window open to let out any fumes the heat radiates from the kiln for at least 12 hours after it has switched off. All potters will now the eagerness and anticipation that is felt while waiting for the kiln to cool down enough to allow you to open up and see how the pottery has turned out. You should not really open up for at least 20 hours after switch off has occured but I usually can't resist a quick peak after 15 hours. There are always plenty of oohs and aahs as well as an occasional aaagh once the lid is lifted. Glazes rarely turn out the way I had expected, but there are often some real improvements when they do their own thing and decide to come out purple instead of green and there is no accounting for the fact that glazes like to run rather than staying put. This means that when something amazing happens to a piece, I usually cannot reproduce the same effect, try as I might. Still, that ensures that items remain original and unique, and that's what crafting is all about.

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