Some may shout with glee when spring has sprung, but for me there is no greater joy to be found than that of the first cold day of impending fall. Today we (Tadashi, Amy Dee and I) did Pop Art roll-ups in the hotshop to send to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston for the grand opening of their renovated flagship store in the contemporary wing. It was a *very* challenging day and I'm afraid Tadashi was tested almost to his limits.
Challenges (opportunities!) began with the very first piece when I overheated the collar and covered the hole on the blow pipe with glass. With roll-ups you do a lot of work before ever starting to blow the piece out so it was a long time later before we discovered the piece wouldn't expand properly. Others might have given up and chucked the piece--it was a practice slab after all--not predestined for a specific gallery. But Tadashi is a consummate professional. He puntied the piece up, made another collar on a new blow pipe, sealed it to the opening where the old blow pipe had been and continued to blow it out. However no sooner had we recovered from that disaster when, during a re-heat, I jumped the yolk off the rails in front of the glory hole and bumped the piece into the top of the glory hole doors (covering it with schmutz) while trying to get it out. Tadashi, calm and unflappable, used a Dremel with a diamond bit to clean the schmutz off, and we continued on again. It took an hour 45 to complete that one roll-up--and it was the practice piece for the order!
Amy and Dee showed up to help before the first piece was finished and marveled at the quality (and quantity) of the save. But even with their help and the cool weather, the rest of the pieces didn't flow as smoothly as they might have. I'm not going to actually write up the entire litany of our woes in this post, but just know that there was much woe, and Tadashi pulled out a perfect save on each and every piece. We finished another three roll-ups before 5:00, and we were pretty wiped. Amy brought over a Giordano's pizza (carried back frozen ready-to-bake from Chicago) and cooked it in our oven for lunch and it helped maintain our energy, but there is no doubt that a couple of months of no roll-ups took their toll on everyone.
After Amy and Dee left, I finished getting in my last kiln load of the day and Tadashi started on midnight blue and orange twist paperweights for me to take to Auburn tomorrow for the weekend in the gallery Todd and I are doing at The Villager. I am both looking forward to the trip and wishing I had another three days in the studio. The deadline for Niche Award submissions looms and I still have my piece to do (3-D dry screen printing in glass--oooooh!). I also have a conference with my editor at Lark on Monday about book deux, and she would like to see the outline in advance... Tomorrow is another week!