Monday, August 31, 2009

Tripping Kiln

This past weekend my Duncan kiln was running a cone 6 glaze firing. About 5 1/2 hours into it the main breaker of my house was tripped. Now by this time it was dark outside..real fun trying to find the battery lanterns in the house using the light from our cell phone. After we got the power back on, I went to the kiln and noticed that the kiln sitter had not shut off the kiln. After unplugging the kiln, I noticed that the wall socket and the plug was melted. I decided it would be a good idea to have the fire dept come and test for any hot wiring in the house after my daughter said her TV was going out everytime I shut the breaker off for the kiln..which by the way is wired to it's own breaker. Everything was safe in the main breaker box so we could go to bed. It was a restless night for me because all I could think about was the 200 pieces I had in the kiln. Many were to be made into jewelry for a wholesale customer appt. later this week. Daybreak finally came..time to see the damage in the kiln. Those items closest to the top of the kiln were almost done. They have shinyness to them but most are the wrong color the items on the floor of the kiln were ornaments for christmas and had a clear glaze on them..the glaze was not even melted.. I am now left with a few salvageable pieces and a kiln that will not come on..I don't have to tell you how important a kiln is to our art and livelihood.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Missing in Action

Whew..what a summer. I have not posted for a long time now. No excuses will be given here except Life happens. Since my last post we have gotten a new puppy, our other dog had surgery for bladder stones, took the kids to Seaworld in Florida, learned about the sport of paintball, prepared our home and put it up for sale, celebrated our 20Th wedding anniversary, lost my uncle to Post Supra nuclear palsy, celebrated our son's birthday and created some new designs in jewelry and porcelain snowflake ornaments. In fact, I will be running the kiln later today with approx. 200 pieces in a cone 6 glaze firing.
Our family's new puppy is a black and silver miniature schnauzer. His name is Phantom. He is thirteen weeks old. Housebreaking is going good. I have to watch him 24/7. Its like having a two year old in the house again. He has learned to do his business with a command phrase but has not figured out how to let us know that he needs to go outside. Our other schnauzer is adjusting well to having a little one around. Samson is nine years old, so just picture a two year old constantly nipping you, smelling you, and pulling your beard every waking moment. It is exhausting. Samson will play and rough house with Phantom sometimes. I know that they will eventually be great pals.
Houses in our neighborhood started selling quickly, so my husband and I decided to revisit the issue of selling our house. We had attempted to sell from Dec. '07 to Oct, '08 with not the slightest interest from buyers. We had alot of showings, no negative feedback but no offers. So far, we have had more views on the MLS, a few showings and at least one buyer who has put our house on their short list. Hey..if that is progress..I will take it for now.
My husband and I celebrated our 20Th wedding anniversary this summer. I finally will be getting the diamond ring I have been wanting. My wedding ring is three oval saphires surrounded by diamonds. My husband purchased it six years before he met me at an estate auction. So I have been wanting a big diamond ring for my right hand. I had told him on our thirteenth anniversary that I wanted it on our fifteenth, well life happens..finally after seven years I only have to wait alittle while for it to be sized. God certainly blessed me with this ring. My husband had saved only a small amount of money for the ring and didn't know how he was going to give me this gift. We tried to get a diamond from a family member that had one sitting in a drawer collecting dust. I thought this was a perfect way to help keep cost down. Well, they said no when they found out I was wanting to take the diamond out of the mounting and design my own ring with some smaller diamonds that I have. I was heartbroken. Shame on me to give up so quickly. God had other plans. Two days before our anniversary, I went to a wholesale show where I buy semi-precious stones for my jewelry designs. I stopped by one of the wholesale fine jewelry booths. I asked them how much it would be to put a .2 diamond back into a ring that I had missing a stone. $10.00 for the diamond. What? I couldn't believe it. I bought the diamond. I figured if I wasn't going to get the larger diamond ring I wanted I would at least have the missing diamond replaced in another ring I own. I went home and told my husband what had happened. We rushed back to the show, 2hours before closing time and spoke with this jeweler again. We set up an appointment with him on our actual anniversary to discuss a ring he had with rubies in it. Our plan was to switch the rubies for diamonds. We also planned on taking him our broken and unused gold jewelry to sale. To make a long story short, we arrived, sold him our gold and paid him a little of the money my husband had saved up. I will be the proud owner of a 20Th anniversary ring. 20 diamonds for 20 years along with a large center diamond for as my husband said "eternity". He will love me for eternity.
Now, enough about me, back to the real business. I am excited to see the new test glazes and designs when I open the kiln tomorrow. I will then be able to take pictures and post the new limited edition snowflake ornament designs. I will also be busy getting an order together for a new wholesale customer and preparing for my upcoming fall shows.
The puppy is out of food now, so off to Petsmart..