Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Computers, Can't Live with 'Em, Can't Set 'Em on Fire

Coffee in the Starbucks Skyline Chicago mug, "the Breakup Song" by Greg Kihn on the iPod. Isn't it great that I can be self-confident enough to put my deplorable musical taste out here? (Not that there is anything wrong with Rock Kihn Roll. After my famous visitor yesterday--I am still all aflutter--I have to be careful what I write!).

The kiln is cooling from yesterday's firing and I am losing my faith in computers--I mean, it must be the computer in the kiln that is the problem. It's *always* the computer that goes wrong. (Postmodernism. Yep. Dave: "You keep usin' tha' word. I don' think that word means what you think it means.") Anyway, I could have used 2-3 more minutes on the high soak. The day before's fuse could have used 1-2 more minutes. This is the same schedule that came out perfectly (with the same piece composition and configuration) just a few days ago. The only thing remotely different--if I were to look for a cause other than the computer--is the quantity of glass I am fusing.

Yesterday I was so giddy from my brush with fame (and finally getting the book contract) that my afternoon was completely derailed. I was still putting the kiln load in when Dave got home at 5:30. So instead of packing it to the gunwales (pronounced 'gunnulls'... isn't English great?) with unallocated pieces that I could use for shows and art fairs--and taking an hour or more to do it, I just fired exactly what I had scheduled and it was a smidge emptier. Whatever. I am done fusing for the week so I will just have to note the results in the firing log and come back to the problem when I get back from Texas.

Today I cut, grind and begin slumping the umpteen gazillion sushi plates that I fused over the past few days. I have got to buy more of those molds. Right now I can do either 12 plates or 4 platters and four plates at a time and the molds do not take up even half the kiln. So I fire half empty and am filled with guilt at the energy I am squandering to heat the whole kiln--as well as the extra time it takes to get it done. *sigh* I just got an order from Bullseye. I really don't want to order again (come to think of it I haven't even paid for the last order yet) but somehow I am almost out of #2 neo-lavender opal frit, running low on several other colors (what is it going to take to accurately predict how much of which colors I will use?) and I have less clear irid than I thought I did.

Today I FINALLY get my accounts receivable updated and my web content materials organized and shipped out. Having someone else with the responsibility of designing and implementing the website is a tremendous weight off my mind. Now I just need to solve the shed and computer problems and I will be set. Mass-marketing efforts are put on hold till after the book is finished. I am stupid but not suicidal.

To get me moving, "Ronnie and Neil" by the Drive-By Truckers just came on the Pod. Now there is some music I can be proud of.


Barbara Muth said...

If the less mass you khave in the kiln the longer it takes, I might not be surprised. I'm not sure exactly how it would work (I didn't get As in physics) but it seems to me that the more mass you have the better it holds and shares heat, so it may becooling less quickly and still slumping or fusing during the ramp down because the kiln is cooling less quickly...

Just a thought. So if that's the case you adjust by adding a few minutes to the soak at process temp when the kiln is less full.

My kiln isn't big enough for me to have issues with that.

ren said...

i've got no comments on your art, you rock that just fine on your own but i felt the need to tell you just how much I LOVE GREG KIHN! one of my greatest joys in life was waking up to his voice while visiting san jose (he's a d.j.) AND i have read several of his books. no shame in that.

Bill Paley said...

You're stupid?