Thank you to all of you who sent well wishes at the crash of my kiln.
My new kiln has arrived and is currently enjoying its maiden firing - empty, to condition the interior walls. I didn't realize how much work getting the new kiln into the studio would entail. I had to rethink the whole space - which was long over due - and condense all of my sprawling supplies. Doing so made the the studio much more inviting and cozy, but took almost three days of work.
I really hadn't done a rearrangement of the whole space since moving into it almost three years ago. I had been working and cramming things into it without taking a look at how it all functioned. It was on my to do list, but I never got to it, until I was forced to when my kiln blew. Now I see the new, smaller kiln as a real gift, because it opened my eyes to my own workspace. Sometimes the Universe has to smack you over the head with a big bat to get you to pay attention.
Now everything feels right. The new kiln is beautiful, hums along quietly, and feels more efficient than its ten year old big brother. I am trying to decide what to do with the big kiln. I have a feeling this little guy is going to be my partner for a long time.
I could save every single piece that was in the big kiln when it blew. Here are the pieces lined up to be fired as soon as the new oven has gone thru its first firing. To the right is my pottery wheel . It's a very cosy corner for working.
Here are espresso cups to and larger latte cups to the left waiting to complete their first firing and get their glaze. I love these little, handle-less cups. They are about two inches tall and are going to be in all soft, earthy colors.
I so see this as an opportunity now. An opportunity to work smarter, cleaner, and more efficiently. I hadn't really realized it, but for the last ten years I had been literally working just to fill the kiln - and then praying that everything went ok because if not, the losses were huge. So much stress - first working for at least a month (if I would work five days a week) to get the thing filled and then worrying about the outcome. You see, I mix my own glazes. If I make a mistake in the measurements, it can spell disaster. If it's a small oven full of things, it's a smaller disaster. But with my big kiln, it was never a small worry. It was always a huge worry.
It was a mistake to buy such a monster in the first place, and I literally had been suffering with the decision ever since. Now I feel so much freer. The little kiln is beautiful, and plenty big enough for the things that I make. This has been a huge lesson for me. I am really looking forward to being able to work, even during the season, knowing I can fire smaller quantities.