Friday, November 02, 2007


Coffee in the Austin skyline mug, "Mystery" by the Indigo Girls (in honor of the week) on iTunes. It wasn't a random choice and I considered "Building a Mystery" by Sarah McLachlan--which might have been more appropriate--but you can never go wrong with the Indigo Girls. Aggravation. I was all set to post pictures of the tumultuous week up to and including the first kiln load in the new studio and I can't. find. the camera. transfer. cable. I can't find the fly-swatter either and we are *infested* with little fruit fly-like things. I can feel myself getting wound up. Breathe. Breathe in, breathe out. Wash, rinse, repeat.

It's Friday now. Yesterday's move wrap-up and install went well. Bertha is level (and wasn't THAT a job in this 90 year-old house with very Un-level floors!) and has a counterweight pulley system hung for the lid, the Styrofoam peanut dispenser is hung, the frit storage racks are mounted, and the middle kiln has been loaded and fired even before the computer control panel has been mounted on the wall. Why did I fire after two long, chaotic, stressful days of moving? Well it's like this...

Jessie is in a new school this year and at her school they have a ritual for celebrating childrens' birthdays. I found out that, yes, the date for her in-school party really is *today* yesterday at 1:00 pm, and I had none of my assigned prep for the party even begun--much less completed. The first step was the cake. The kids make a cake in class and the birthday child decorates it with flowers she brings from her garden. Our garden yielded a couple of impatiens, a few marigolds, some ivy and a lacy white flower. It wasn't really enough so Jessie and her Gramma (newly arrived from Chicago) went off on a walk and gathered the last of the season's roses growing through neighboring fences.

Meanwhile back at the studio... The moving wound down and the helpers went home after hugs all around. I dragged my very tired and sore body home and sat down to start the little story about the milestones of Jessie's life that her teacher will read in class today when I remembered that part of the celebration includes the birthday child giving a little hand-made gift or natural object to all of her classmates... I had planned to have Jessie make little glass sun-catcher ornaments, but that was before the painting and the move dragged out for an extra week. What to do, what to do. As we are fresh out of Popsicle sticks, little magnets to glue and other ideas, Jessie and I headed back over to the studio to see what we could do.

Picture, if you will, a glass studio at the tail-end of the most random, unprepared, chaotic move imaginable. Jessie saw a scrap of clear irid with black streamers in a box on the coldroom floor. I found and assembled the pieces of the Morton cutting system (the cutting oil was the hardest part) and cut the scrap into two-inch squares that we washed and dried. J sprinkled multi-colored frit on them... and then it was time for dinner.

As I was waiting for J to finish dinner, with memories and input from Dave and the grandparents, I finished J's story and emailed it to her teacher. Then Jessie and I headed back to the studio where she put little copper loops in the corner of the ornament and covered them with colored circles. It took about 20 minutes to find the computer controller for the kiln (it was still hanging on the wall in the old studio) but eventually it all came together.

And the day ended. Well, there was also a hot bath and a white Russian with Bailey's instead of cream in it.

Postscript: I found the camera cable AND the fly-swatter so you get pictures and I get dead flies. Enjoy!

Moving Bertha:

Moving glass:

New Studio in chaos:


Dee said...

the hot bath and white russian were certainly well earned! i bet you're over there right now putting up all that loose glass that got stacked on the wet work counter and in the bins and getting the frit room organized! all this after having gotten jesse off to school with all the things she needs for her celebration, including the little sun catchers!

ren said...

what kind of hippie school do you send that kid too? give her some twinkies and comic books and a story that says "mama's tired and needs a drink" and send her off!

and congrats to you and happy birthday to her. (

Bill Paley said...

Hooray for the dead flies!

Jodi said...

I'm with Ren! I got worked up just reading what the kids have to do. I don't even have a garden, so I supposed I'd have to buy flowers....see, this is why we don't have kids.

Oh, but congrats! I hope little J had a great birthday too!