Coffee in the New Orleans skyline mug, "Painting By Numbers" by James McMurtry on iTunes. The numbers for Siyeh Studio have been staggering so far this year--and it's only January 5th. Since last Thursday, the first of January, I have cut and entirely consumed (mostly in the kilns) 28 sheets of Bullseye clear irid (about 224 lbs of glass) and 23 5-lb jars of frit (another 115 lbs of glass). My waste is about 2 oz, and I have repurposed about 2 lbs of frit (created from clear irid sheet or mixed colored) for open studio, ornaments and casting. From these raw materials have come about $12,500 of kilnformed glass, some of which will go in $3,000 worth of metal stands from Black Cat ArtWorks--all for the Atlanta's Gift and Home Furnishings Market and the Dallas FINDS Show. Whew! No wonder I'm tired this morning.
The last few days, as I have been in the studio loading kilns till 8:30 or 9:30 every night, have taught me something very important: If I need to fuse fire both Bertha and Bettina every day I *must* get Bettina loaded and powered up on the first day by 10:00 am at the latest and I'll only get about five days of firing her before I'll either have to give her a day off or switch to the night shift.
Bettina was constructed for longer, higher-temp firings so she has significantly more sidewall insulation than Bertha does (she's also younger and her lid is tighter so she leaks heat less). In addition, she has the big Ditore shelf in her which holds significantly more heat for a significantly longer time. All these significant factors add up to a minimum closed-lid kiln time of 24 hours--and that's pushing it a bit. Bertha can be opened and unloaded in about 18-20 hours so I can follow them same loading/firing schedule every day with her--I don't get pushed back a couple of hours a day. My normal rule of thumb is not to unload the kilns unless I can do it with bare hands. Last night at 7:30 I had to use gloves to get the pieces out of Bettina.
Today Dee, Becky, Todd and Bill descend upon the studio to construct the new booth display. The only space large enough for it that's inside (it's raining *again* today) is the garage at the house so it'll be a cold damp day for us. I'll make lots of coffee. Now off to dress and brush the teeth so I'll be more hospitable!