There is no coffee yet, but I just heard the sweet, sweet sound of grinding beans so I do not have long to wait. The music of the morning is the sound of spaniel slurping water and munching chow. Baxter is a noisy eater.
The weekend was good. I worked in the studio all day Saturday except for a brief hiatus to see a matinee of Superman with Dave and J. Sunday I didn't do anything Siyeh-Studio-related until 9:00 pm when I worked out my firing schedule for the week. Instead, I posted on Stranded in the South (and I have decided to post there regularly on Saturday and Sunday as I have begun to chafe at the self-imposed rule of posting here only Mon-Fri). Oh yes, and Dave and I girded our loins donned mosquito repellent and eye protection and tried to rid the backyard of long grass and weeds. Dave did get the lawn cut, I was unsuccessful in the attack on the weeds: first the weed whacker ran out of nylon whacking line, then a gallon of Round-Up was not enough to cover everything I had been unable to cut. This problem is going to have to wait for another week.
Saturday I fired the clock and the base for the lace lamp (ala Cailleach's Cradle) and cast a glow-in-the-dark starfish and a tropical fish in the commercial casting molds I bought. I haven't done the curing fire for the mold I made from Best Mix so I haven't cast in it yet. Though I was pleasantly surprised with the way the surface texture on it turned out. I had been concerned about big floaty chunks in the mix interfering with the detail of the cast object. But when I unmolded the butterfly I cast, the surface was perfect. In the places where the Best Mix had been against glass (the base) it was a smooth and shiny as the glass itself--the smaller particles in the mix filled in around the larger chunks for a perfectly detailed finish. There might be a few tiny air-bubbles, but that would be my fault as I didn't have a vibrating plate to jiggle the bubbles out as the mix set.
But enough on past accomplishments. Can't rest on my laurels, I have other glass to fry. Ikebana starts up again today after a month off for me, and is going to take a two-hour chunk out of a very full day. I have to cut, grind and slump all (prep all, slump most of) the pieces I fused last week for the two gallery orders scheduled to ship Wednesday. I am ready to paint the platinum design on the necklace and fire it, and I *still* have the table and the garden stake to design.
One sad casualty of the weekend was the box I cast. I am just too damn impatient. When I took it out of the kiln I started cold-working it immediately. Yeah it was room temperature (more or less) and I used hot water to wash it and on the lap grinder, but that wasn't enough and I cracked it. I probably wouldn't have been able to use it anyway--I lost 50% of the volume so it was a pretty short box and the coloration was not so hot as I had had an accident while filling the mold and ended up with the colors way more mixed than I planned (and maybe a bit of kiln wash in it too). But I am undaunted and have another attempt to try later this week. The good news is that my engineering theory worked and the shape held perfectly and I was able to unmold it easily. Whoo hoo! But I may tweak my annealing schedule just a bit in case the cracking was caused by residual stress in the glass and not just impatience.