Wednesday, August 23, 2006

An Historic Day

No coffee yet, but I heard the beans being slain and have hope for imminent caffeine. No music either. Not a single kiln load went in yesterday (though three were scheduled) and results were mixed on the ones that came out.

The table is too dark and you can't see the copper leaves and wire swirls I put in it. I am going to have to re-do it in completely clear glass. The fuse of the pieces from the screen melt for the S-curve platter has a couple of areas where the French vanilla did not flow smoothly so the surface is not all even and flat. I am nervous about fuse firing it again--the more you fire glass to fuse temps, the more you risk devitrification and stress from coefficient of expansion (COE) shifts. The mask (picture posted yesterday) has a couple of large popped air bubbles on the surface and one rising from the back which created a dimple on the front. It needs to be fused to full temp again on its front and then slumped/firepolished. The little leaves I cast to make the pieces to over the hole where the water comes out on the fountain lost more volume than I thought they would. I may need to recast some. The draping of the lace lamp did not work--it was too large and heavy and didn't fall in graceful little folds. I may try it one more time with a single thickness base, but in the meantime I fused a base and more lace to make a bowl to replace the lamp as a project.

I did get the box cut and loaded to fire and that kiln will go as soon as I set-up the pattern bars (they are also all cut) and cut and set-up the supports for the fountain. Then I get to prep the new paperweight molds I bought, fill and cast them in the little kiln. Finally I will slump the birdbath, the fountain base, and the strip-piece plate (is that all?) in the big kiln.

Eventually I am going to have to prep and cast the mold I made from Best Mix. But after the debacle I had over the weekend with the fiber blanket molds I made for the wall sconce and the pate de verre bowl, I am reluctant. When they say "Don't open the kiln during firing as the burn off of the rigidizer causes acrid smoke" they really mean it. I used my sandblast cabinet vacuum venting system to try to vent the kiln but it wasn't enough. Next big purchase: a serious vent hood over the medium kiln.

Big news of the day was one of my wholesale accounts from New York calling to see if I could fill an order for 50-100 paisley sushi sets (first 30 due October 13) if they decide to feature them in their Christmas catalog. Lucky for me I have 5544 small circles winging towards me via UPS and enough glass on hand for them and the rest of my orders. Time to do them, well that's another thing. I may need to step up getting an apprentice.

Other biggish news on the gallery front is that a couple of weeks ago I applied for the new American Craft Retailer's Expo (ACRE) wholesale show in Las Vegas in May. Even though I have not formally been accepted, they have asked me for hi-resolution images of my work to use in their publicity (I anticipate being accepted). That was cool. Part of the deal with doing the show is that you get a one-year membership to wholesalecrafts.com which includes a wholesale commercial website. You don't get that benefit unless you are accepted to the show, but this past weekend I got an inquiry from a gallery in Phoenix generated from the wolesalecrafts.com webpage even though I don't even have a page up yet! Turns out that the jury for the show can solicit from you before you are even accepted and that is what happened. The gallery owner saw the images and pricing of my work and sent me email.

But back to today. Getting the kilns loaded is only going to take a a couple of hours and then I get to make history: today I begin to write the basics section of the book and everyday from now until November I will be writing. Enough writing about writing, it's time to write about glass. I'll let you know how that works out for me.

1 comment:

Bill Paley said...

Put pen to paper.

Or electron to screen...