Coffee is a mocha with Ghirardelli chocolate in a ceramic cup with cows on it. The satellite radio isn't working so there is no music. Yup, it's Tuesday and I am at Joe's. This Joe's Day is going to be different from the normal Joe's Day as I brought my large sketch pad and sketching tools (compass, rule, pencil, eraser, etc.) and my plate glass modeling clay working surface, extra modeling clay, dental picks and other tools and butterfly-model-in-progress.
Before we left I loaded the medium kiln and started the final draped vase project. When I get home today I will cast it in Best Mix. With luck, the mold will be dry and ready to use Thursday and I will make a butterfly paperweight (of course it's another project for the book).
This morning I was dismayed to discover that I either lost a large section of my firing log to a file overwrite (saving the wrong version in a merge) or I just didn't bother to log several crucial firings. Whatever the cause, I do not have my schedules for the pot melt, the original drape, and who knows what else.
In spite of that, the schedule I used yesterday for the screen melt (pics posted here) worked really well. I lowered my top temp yet again to good result. Detail is shown above right, full front and full back follow. The most striking thing about the back is how clean it is--by not going so high I did not get so much kiln wash sticking to it. I am going to try another pot melt with this new even lower schedule to see what I get. I am betting on more defined areas of color as it will not flow so fast at the lower temp. And I bet I can keep reds from turning brown by not going as high. We shall see.
Because of the book I am pushing the boundaries of "my work". I brought the screen melt piece upstairs to show Dave this morning and he said, "That's not you, it's nice but it doesn't look like your work." This always seems to be the time of the year I try to expand my scope--though usually it is to a much lesser degree as the cause is a perceived need of work not my own or better than my own to enter into one competition or another. Usually the boundaries get pushed right back into shape at the end of the experiment by the pressures of production work for one gallery or show or another.
And there is a vast difference between my production work and work that would be taken seriously in Bullseye's eMerge (deadline tomorrow--I haven't even done a piece for it this year, much less had it photographed) or Corning's New Glass Review (deadline October 1) or even the Rosen Niche Awards (deadline September 5). I expect to make the Niche deadline and even have time to throw my money away on the postage for the New Glass Review (that is the real brass ring), but I am not too sad about missing eMerge this year.
Of course there is also a difference in the work I am doing for the projects for this book--aimed at beginners--and the work I would need to do for a competition. But it is the playing with new techniques and no boundaries which is inspiring me right now. I dreamed of a series of boxes last night before I went to bed and am eager to try them out. Fortunately for me, that dream might actually get followed as the jumping off point for it is one of the projects for the book. Memento mori boxes. Ossuary boxes. Yes, I am in a grim state, but it's a creative one!