Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sunshine and lilacs!

Sunshine at last! We've had 7 straight days of rain - torrential at times - but the sun has finally decided to appear. When the lilac bush began to bloom last week, there were predictions of a week of non-stop rain. I look forward to the blooming of lilacs every year and this seemed as though a wash out was inevitable. Well, the sun is finally out and the fragrant scent is filling the air!

Soaking rains not only weighed the flowers down, but held their sweet scent close to the bloom.

Lavender against azure blue - a most pleasing and pleasant combination to the eye!

Memories of the tiny bottle of toilet water perfume that my Grandmother gave me when I was 12 are vivid. A small indigo blue glass bottle with a tiny gold metal cap that screwed off to reveal the scent of lilacs whenever I opened it.

Water that drenched the buds just a few hours ago still hold tight to the tips.


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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Kiln Room at L'esperance Tile

It's not always pretty, or completely organized, but the kiln room is certainly the hot spot of our ceramics studio. We love the heat source in the winter, but aren't as thrilled with the added temps in mid August.

Seven kilns rotate firings, depending on the size of the orders in our shop.

We have two separate electric services to our building, one is on a demand meter. We rotate our firings in the hopes of keeping it at only one - demand meters can add a substantial cost to the electricity that we buy.

We have kiln logs for each kiln, in which we write down the date, the cone or program it's firing to, what's in the kiln, and the end time and temperature of each firing. When a kiln takes overly long it's notated in red and gets a check-up and band-aid for what ails it.

For really large orders it's important to plan ahead to keep the kilns firing to capacity in an organized system.

Each kiln is vented and we have a large exhaust fan at the top of the windows to pull out the heat and fumes when needed.

A movable metal shelf holds kiln furniture, but most of our tiles fire on tile cranks. We cut up old kiln shelves and tile cranks to create stilts for the shelves for bisque firing.

And I love my welders gloves - I can pull tiles out of 350• kilns with those babies!

Any questions? Ask away!!

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