Nothing to drink, the sounds of the clock ticking, the dogs snoring, and Tuffy the hamster running in his wheel upstairs for my early morning music. *Very* early morning music. As I lay away at 2:30 this morning I decided I might as well just get up and do some work. I have been fretting about not having enough hours in a day to get everything done, and being wide awake this morning while everyone else slumbered (Jessie in with me and Mom back in the guest bed) seemed too good an opportunity to pass up.
This week has been a chaotic blur. We had a full house Tuesday and Wednesday nights as friends who moved to Bangkok today occupied the guest room and Jessie's room. Mom, J and I bunked together in my bed for those days. Ho boy, a whole new snore pattern to get used to (just kidding Mom). This morning as our friends were finishing the repack of all their boxes and suitcases, the cleaning people arrived (they *never* come before noon--this morning 8:50) and hot on their heels was the repairman for the washer and dryer. Pandemonium reigned. (Don't forget summer camp started at 9:00--thank heaven for Todd!). But everything worked out--as it is wont to do. How? I don't know. It's a mystery.
Summer camp has been exhausting and exhilarating. The projects have been fantastic. My main worry is that I have been so focused on making it a really great, full glass experience that I have worn the kids out. Today they very much wanted free-draw and reading time so we had a pretty low-key day. They put together their picture frames, cleaned out their kiln beads, made hammered-copper bookmarks, and did a little free-form fusing. We did not have water slide time again today as at least one of them was so covered in mosquito bites from yesterday that another bite would probably have caused him to turn into a giant mosquito (ala Jeff Goldblum in "The Fly"). The campers also made invitations to an exhibit of their work which will take place tomorrow (scratch that--TODAY!) from 3:30-4:30. They are going to set up pedestals to display their work and we are going to have a gallery reception with lemonade, iced tea, and nibblies to show off their amazing portfolios.
But summer camp is not all that has been happening in the studio this week. Date Night continues to be wildly popular--we have three scheduled for Friday and Saturday. I am doing the Farmer's Market this Saturday morning and handing off to Lee about 11:00 as Judy has the day off so I need to head into the studio to work there the rest of the day. We also have a very special Date Afternoon scheduled that day--more on it next week. Orders are trickling in from customers who aren't coming to the shows, and I got a request for a proposal to do 800 glass and steel pieces for a corporate gift by January... A job like that comes in and I won't be adding either Beckman's OR the One of a Kind Show this winter.
The week has not been without its pitfalls. After doing the penultimate enormous load of opaline striker samples the other day I had an epiphany. I was pretty disappointed at how they turned out--they weren't at all as striking (oh what a witty 3:00 am punster poster I am!) as the ones I had seen at Bullseye last summer. And then it hit me: I was putting the opaline on top of the other colors and firing it and that's not at all how it's best used. Yes, over opal glasses it has to go on top or you wouldn't see it--and we were all a bit underwhelmed with how the opaline-on-opal samples turned out. But to get the most bang in combination with transparent glasses, the opaline needs to go on the bottom. Oh. Damn. I flipped a couple of the samples and re-fired them opaline-side down and (predictably) got bad devitrification from firing shelf-side up on the second firing with only a washing in between firings. But the color was much better.
(I think I am finally tuned into it being Friday and not Thursday in terms of this post. I did go to bed last night and slept from 10:00-2:00--I haven't been up since Thursday morning. But it is confusing nonetheless.) Yesterday (meaning Thursday) I tried another firing with devit spray and I am hoping to refire all the transparent samples from the last load and to finish firing the rest of the opaline samples today (the majority of the transparents--and they'll be opaline-side down!).
Now it is after 4:00 and I should probably toddle back to bed to get a little more sleep before the alarm starts shrieking. Groupons post still coming--and a quick question on them, gentle reader. Are they as popular in your area of the country as they are here? Or is this an Atlanta phenomenon?