Thursday 1 October 2009

Cat's in the dog house (and dog's away)

Some of the results from the last kiln. Of course I always see where things could have been better, but I was pleased with the life in these ducks.

The lines of the underwater swimmer and dog worked pretty well, though I could have done with maybe a little contrast in the slip colour where the underwater shapes are- lighter or darker perhaps.

I finished a few commissions - two pasta dishes featuring a particular pair of cats.....Not exactly Mungojerry and Rumpleteaser but I must have had T S Eliot in the back of my mind.

Also out of the kiln were the prizes for the 'Hard Rock Challenge' this weekend. (Cycling, and running duathlon). When I went through them to check that all was present and correct, to my horror I noticed that in the Junior category, one was inscribed '4th'.
ER, I wasn't asked to make any 4th prizes, was I? Aaargh, somehow as I was counting, 'four 1sts', (done,tick), four 2nds', (done,tick), all fine - but when it came to the fourth 3rd, I must have written FOURTH on it!
What to do? Well, low temperature enamel has saved the day, enough at least in the short term for some poor child not to be very offended on Saturday!
A difficult birth plate - Ruby, Lilies and Poppies round the edge. How to be inspired by the motif of a ruby? I struggled with this one, but at least the ruby has achieved a sort of glow.
Meet 'Extra', who is now in the dog house. Some poor customers spent nearly 40 minutes choosing a wedding present last Saturday. I wrapped it up and we were just chatting as they were about to leave, when who should come jumping up onto the counter to say hello.
Crash! I was mortified and most embarrassed and they were bitterly disappointed. Did I have another one just the same....? No such luck. She loves to say hello to customers, and has never broken anything before. I will certainly never balance pots on the counter again when she is around!


  1. oh bleep! cute but painful at the same time...hope they chose something else ok....

  2. Love your ducks, and cats.

    Hummmm, Cats! I get worried some times about Ginger and his delight at sleeping on my drying rack (could damage wet pots), in my kiln shed (could kill himself with fumes), on top of my wood fired kiln (could poison himself with liberal doses of soot, fiber, and heavy metals) or on my shoulders or lap when I am trying to glaze, throw, or do other such operations!

    Must have been a horrible moment for you, and you have my sympathies.

    I've just had a glazing disaster.... A dolomite matt glaze that has not matured at the temperature it normally does (I fired to cones). The result has been a crawled and pasty mess on something that was commissioned. Sadly, because the glaze was so reliable in the past, I also used it on the back up dish that I made.. just in case the "good" one didn't work for some reason. Just wondering how to rescue it. I'll probably try another glaze over the top and re fire in the hopes of something "interesting".. Blaaaaaah! I will do something different with the "good" one and his mate this time!

  3. Commissions! Why is it that when things go wrong it is so often on a special order. Bad luck with that dolomite glaze. It is really strange how that can happen, sometimes a different batch of a particular ingredient....? I hope the re- firing works.
    As a cat person you can understand crazy puss problems. Our two cats love being in the workshop and I know it is always a risk, but they are usually pretty good. They are banned only when there are pots out on the benches under polythene. 'Extra' in particuar just loves the sound and feel of polythene, and has been found aleep on top of it with a morning's worth of thrown dishes, (squashed beneath her)!

  4. Hi Christine,

    Just a follow up to my previous comment. Happy to report that I managed to salvage one of the baking dishes that I made by re firing with a slightly differently formulated dolomite glaze over the other one. Even better news was that the person that commissioned it, liked it and bought it. Laura tested its less perfect companion this morning by baking a cake in it. The cake was a great success, and the dish survived the ordeal. I am slightly suspicious that the most recent lot of Cornish stone I bought may not be what it says it is, and that might be the reason the original glaze was too refractory. (Of course one should test new batches of glaze... hum!)

    Regarding cats and polythene, ours has taken to sleeping in a highly abandoned and wanton pose on top of the sagging tarpaulin that I have as a makeshift extension to my kiln roof. He looks really daft from below.