Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Live long and prosper...

Well, things are starting to come back to life in my basement studio... kinda like the first buds of springtime.  Only not really that pretty.  In the past couple of months we have installed a new super-duty sump pump in the basement (and another one in the crawl space, coming soon) and I applied two coats of concrete sealant, to hopefully keep water from seeping up through mico-cracks in the floor.  This only happens when we get a lot of rain, and the ground becomes saturated.  Then the hydrostatic pressure under the house is so high that the water has to go somewhere; so it comes up.  I have no fantasies that this will completely eliminate the possibility of getting water in the basement again, but I'm fairly confident that it will greatly reduce the likelyhood.  Onward and upward.  So now I am getting my stuff moved out of the garage and back downstairs, where it belongs.  This has turned into a drawn out process, because along the way, I am compacting things... throwing stuff away, and figuring out better ways to use the space I have down there.  At any rate, things are moving along. 
And on the pottery front (this is a pottery blog, afterall) Pam called me up to the computer room a couple of weeks ago and said that she found an electric kiln for me at a local sealed bid auction!  Minimum bid $100.  We asked some questions, started doing some research, and found out this thing is a monster.  It's a Vulcan brand, model number 417G, only driven by a granny on Sundays to church and back  (ha).  No actually it belongs to the school system Pam works for.  They replaced their art department kilns a few years ago when they added onto the high school, so this Vulcan kiln has been sitting on a pallet in storage since then.  Pam called a couple of the art teachers who have used it in the past, and they said it was a good, reliable kiln.  I'm excited at the possibility of getting this, but frankly it's also pretty intimidating... kind of like a 15 year old learning to drive, and the only vehicle available is an 18 wheeler.  I will still need a small kiln for test firings, but the chance to get a production kiln like that for $100 is too good to pass up, even if it needs a little work.  It's going to be an interesting summer and fall, I can tell already.  I think they open the bids on July 1st.  This kiln has a 16 cubic foot capacity, so I guess I better get busy making some pots!  ;)