05
Oct

Kiln is glowing…

In just under two weeks, we’ll be setting up our wares at The Fibre Shindig in Calgary for their one day sale, and then we gear up for the November 7 Calgary Fibre Arts Fair. Calgary buttons, there shall be! The studio has been a bustle of activity as Jason, Jill, and I turn clay into shiny beauties for our yarny friends. After over a year off for me, the steady activity is welcome. Yesterday morning, Jason fired up a kiln that was stacked to the top with buttons. Last night, the kiln reached temperature, and I popped the plugs to take a peek inside. Doesn’t the kiln look beautiful in the evening light, peep holes glowing red from the molten ware inside?  It’s a sight that brings me so much joy. Glazing is my least favourite part of this process since it means painting each little button with several coats of glaze on top and sides, meticulous and monotonous work. The kiln firing means that glazing is finished, and I’m hours away from seeing the results of my labour. We’ll unload the glazed buttons tonight, but I won’t have much time to admire them before it’s time to reload the kiln with whiskey tumblers, Christmas ornaments, bookmarks, and diz. The kiln is working hard for us this month, and I love her for it. Who’d have thunk that this old girl could keep up? While I wait for glazed beauties to emerge for sorting and packaging, I’m working on booth setup and display so that I can bring MORE to the sales. Jason is spending his time between babysitting the kiln, making perfectly balanced whiskey tumblers, and building pegboard spinner displays for our wares. As we were drawing up schematics for the spinners, our 1″ x 1″ gridded whiteboard sheet that we have for gaming came in super handy for planning the perfect setup. Being gaming nerds aligns nicely with our clay love. Time is ticking down! I’ll post some sneak peeks photos when we unload the kiln tomorrow. Stay tuned!  

09
Dec

the kiln, she is hot

Today is glaze firing day! I load the kiln as I finish items so this morning when the last item went in, it was time to crank up the heat and start the cycle. I loaded four shelves that look much like this one: After the horrific failure of the jewelry stand during the last firing leaving pieces permanently fused and nicked, I’ve gone back to glazing only one side of the buttons so they can lay down for glaze fire. Buttons are just as functional with only the showing side fired so I’m at peace with this decision. I wanted to glaze both sides of pendants for the sheer vanity of it however, until I have a new secure jewelry stand for firing, they will also be glazed one side only.  I have some mugs, stands, pendants and bowls in this kiln load as well. I don’t know how I’m going to wait for it to be finished. During the third of nine hours of firing, I was closing the top vent and took this photo for your viewing pleasure. Looks toasty, doesn’t it?: I’m counting down the hours to unpack this baby tomorrow evening! I guess it’s time to go straighten up the neglected house while I wait.