I'd like to start by apologizing for my prolonged absence. The end of March, first of April, I went to Bowling Green, Ohio by myself to visit a friend and check out a fiber festival. It was a great weekend but a bit of a whirlwind. It was immediately followed by a quick trip to Louisville and then Indiana for photos of Sprout.
Prior to leaving for Bowling Green, I finished sculpting the last of a series of agateware goddesses for a Beads of Clay group bead swap. The beads were left for the weekend in the food dehydrator in my studio to ensure that they were bone dry for firing when I returned. Since I was pressed for time, I single fired the goddesses to cone 10. I didn't glaze them because I wanted to fit them all into a single firing, so I actually had some space for some colored porcelain beads that I stained with a wash of albany slip and blue stoneware glaze mixed. After firing, everything got a trip through the rock tumbler to clean it up and smooth away the burrs that sometimes result when beads temporarily fuse in the high temperature firings. (That albany slip/glaze wash can sometimes run slightly and glue the beads together. They pull apart easily enough but there is sometimes a rough spot where the beads were fused.)
This week, I've updated the MysticSpiral Etsy Shop and done a bit of metal work at the torch in an effort to be ready to make more shawl pins as soon as the current batch of faces, spindle whorls and other raku beads have been fired. Part of my motivation in this, as those of you who are here from the Lime&Violet podcast or message boards probably already know, is that I've been spending a lot of time hanging out on a knitting forum and was recently the recipient of some beautiful compliments from the lovely and fabulous Lime and Violet.
It's an odd experience to sit down to work while listening to a podcast that has become a part of your regular routine and to hear yourself mentioned by voices that have become familiar companions in spite of never having met. Such was my experience about 38 minutes into Episode 32 of the L&V podcast.(link to actual MP3 of the podcast) I'd read the show notes when I downloaded the podcast to put on my mp3 player, so I knew that they had received the shawl pins that I'd sent and that they were using some of them as half-way through prizes in the L&V Sock Marathon. Let's just say that it is probably not a good idea to be startled (or pleasantly surprised) while holding hot metal in the flame of a propane torch... I am certain that I sat there for a full minute and a half with a stupid grin on my face while I held the bronze rod in the torch flame and the heat gradually spread to my fingertips... I know from past experience that the ridge pattern of my fingerprints will grow back, but for now, my prints have interesting voids where I singed my fingers with the hot metal.
Well, I could continue typing and linking and typing and linking for quite a while so I'll cut this off here and maybe have something left for another blog entry sooner rather than later.