Saturday, July 12

Mold and the Art of Zen

So I'm pretty excited. Usually I pull all of my handles. It's a sloppy business and it's not my favorite thing to do. Makes the idea of making a lot of mugs at the same time seem like kind of a drag. Well, yesterday I had the idea of making the handles out of a coil of clay and hand shaping them on the table, like I do when I put a little lug on a jar or oval pot and I thought, why not the mugs? It worked fantastically! The handle looks a little large here because of the photo perspective, but it looks pretty sweet. I found that making the handles this way made the whole experience more enjoyable and little more zen-like.

This is what happens when you let your pots sit under plastic in the New England humid summer weather. These rings are all mold.

I got my new scale which almost instantly gave me the same problems with the on/off button so I exchanged it for the model on the left which is larger and more heavy duty and so really more suited to the business of weighing out clay and glaze materials for large batches. The scale on the right is for my testing. I got two because you want the scales to be as accurate as possible of course, and with digital scales, the more you go up in weight capacity (the one on the left can weigh 15 pounds while the one on the right can only weigh 2 pounds) they become slighty less accurate in the sense that the larger one is accurate to within one gram, while the smaller one is accurate to within .001 grams. One gram is not a big deal when weighing out a large batch of glaze, but could be a problem when weighing out a test batch. My tests and my large batches have always come out exactly the same I believe as a result of using two scales and the result of doing my tests in a small computer-controlled kiln and my large computer-controlled kiln. This way I can also program my small firings to fire, and more importantly COOL, very closely the same as a larger firing.

So I took the new medicine the neurologist gave me before nighty-night time like he said, and an amazing thing happened. I slept the entire night. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to most people but I don't sleep well. Four to five hours if I am lucky, and it is all interrupted. Sleep one hour, wake up, sleep another hour, lay awake for an hour, etc. So during the day I am always tired. I woke up this morning and after I rubbed the sleepies out of my eyes I am amazed at how much energy I have. Physically and mentally. I wonder if this is how other people feel all of the time? It's a very strange state for me to be in. I gotta figure out a way to make this a permanent thing. See-ya.


Hannah said...

Hi, I just looked at your post about the handles that aren't pulled, I saw your comment on Alan's blog. I like the handles, they're very smart.
I also like the squared jars but I know what you mean about time consuming for lids, there must be a knack. I don't know it though, I've had similar trouble with oval lids but the squares are the worst.
Good luck.

Deborah Woods said...

Hi Hannah. Thanks for checking my work out. I was really happy with the handles and found it so much more peaceful. I finally just trashed all the square jars. I couldn't deal with the frustration anymore. Oh well.