I am taking it easy today. The kiln started at 2am, and has just finished firing. Inside there are several masks.
Their hair becomes fragile as they dry. Then it tends to crack away from the main parts. So in order to make dry all parts evenly, I cover the thin parts with pieces of cling film. I also put them on the kiln shelves, so that I won' need to handle them again.
|Empress, Forest Boy and Forest Girl|
|Duchess of Macaron and Forest Boy|
In the afternoon, I was painting underglaze on the last of the masks. Then I wanted to check something with one of bisque-fired figures on a shelf above the table where I was working. When I lifted it, its head fell off! I threw the underglaze pot in air to catch the head, but I couldn't. The head landed on the table intact. How strange? Then I realised that it landed on one of my drying masks, Forest Girl, and broke it. Gutted, but nothing I could do now. So I wiped the underglaze from the surface, and recycled the clay into a bowl. It could be much worse. It could have broken all three masks on the kiln shelf and/or it could have been broken as well.
I had more work to do. So I carried on. Then about after 30 minutes, I started having stomach ache, felt cold despite it was a warm day, had gum ache, which usually means cold sores, and then a tight chest. Am I having a mini-stroke?
|Forest Girl now|
Here is the problem of starting a new career in the middle age, I thought. Stress could be too much for my body. Then I thought why I can't make something else like painting or printing. I wish I could make something which doesn't break easily. But good or bad, ceramics is my path. Trying not to sound religious, but it was a gift to me.
I told Mike if he finds me dead in the studio with broken pieces, he would know what killed me.
We loaded the kiln in the early evening. I forgot to take a photo of the top shelf this time. Unusually there are three shelves in it this time.
I can open the kiln tomorrow morning. I hope there won't be any surprises.