Friday, October 26, 2012

Test kiln disassembly morning

Spent this morning on the phone with Olympic, dealing with kiln sitter and switch problems and  earlier with gas range top repair followup. I now know how to take apart the tube assembly so I'll be able to replace the sensor rod when the parts arrive from Olympics later next week. My old AIM C10 test kiln never had to have that part replaced and that was over 20 years old. I got it when they first came out with those small C10 test kilns. The infinite switched needed replacing many times over the years, but that was the only thing I had to deal with. When we moved, I gave that one away and kept the newer Olympic version, since I just didn't have space for both of them.

The range top manufacturer Euro Stoves, as of this morning, hadn't been able to find someone to come out here to install a new part and adjust the burners on this Capital Culinaria range top. I just heard back from them and they finally located a company in Medford called Appliance doctor who will be calling me about setting up an appointment. Slowly, all things eventually get done.

Yesterday we were out and about with some shopping chores - picked up some clay, darvan 7 and another under glaze, then back to Trade Joe's for more of their gluten free bread which is very good. We tried the same bakery's gluten free bagels this morning and they are also good - not much different than the typical supermarket bagels. Then it was off to the mall where Jim was looking for slippers. He didn't find what he wanted, but I was able to get the off white turtleneck sweater I wanted. We had a piece of pizza for lunch and I was happy to find it's the same place I loved years ago - a real New York type pizza. Jim loved it too, so we might just stop there periodically on our way home for that pizza.

One last stop at the Farmers market for some lovely wood oven baked bread, freshly picked chanterelle mushrooms, home made tamale treat for Jim, which turned out to be really great (he gave me a small taste), home made apple strudel that was fabulous, and the  biggest head of Savoy cabbage I have ever seen. I was thrilled to find it because I have the best recipe for stuffed cabbage which calls for this cabbage.  That will probably be dinner early next week.

Tracey, I picked up the pumpkin bread mix at Trader Joe's that you recommended, so I'll be trying that next time Jim wants boiled eggs for breakfast.

Apple finally sent me my password re-set email yesterday afternoon, so I was able to register the new iPod  Touch and get my music, photos and apps on loaded. I think I'm missing some music files, so that will be another project for later today. After dinner, it was time to vegg out with some email and TV. We're on the 3rd replays of the Midsommer mysteries on Netflix. We never seem to tired of them, even though we've seen them so many times.

Our son and his family are in town, so it's pizza at their place tonight. They have a great, wood burning pizza oven and do a great job with them. He and his wife are both foodies and good cooks, so they're constantly refining their pizza dough and toppings. I think they have that dough recipe pretty spot on right now. I'm not sure what the rest of the weekend holds other than more good family time.  Our son and daughter in law usually have something going every day when they're up for a long weekend, so I may have to wait till Monday to fire these tests in the larger Skutt kiln.

What I do think I can do, if I get studio time tomorrow and Sunday, is make up a decent sized batch of white slip, and the best clear glaze in those tests - Ron Philbeck's version of  a Gail Kendall recipe, which I think was originally Worthington clear, throw a few more test tiles and a few simple cups for the next round of testing. I also want to make a batch of that clear with 3% rutile. I really liked the softer cream color for some work. The other glaze I want to batch is Amber Assault, from the Linda Arbuckle hand out. It's a lovely honey yellow color. Those 3 glazes will be a good start. My new under glazes tests have all three of these glazes over them. I'm really eager to see how those under glaze colors turn out with the two colored glazes over.

I wasn't thrilled with the one black slip I tested - not very black and definitely a less desirable color with a clear glaze over, so I may just explore using a black glaze instead, and try some other combination for the black slip. I'm trying to exercise a lot of restraint and not get too carried away with buckets and buckets of glazes and slips!

Since I haven't fired the larger electric kiln since it's been hooked up at the new studio, I'm hoping that the move and the brick damage that occurred, is not indicative of any more serious problems; but I'll find out soon enough. I think I'll load it this afternoon with the next groups of glazed tiles and just turn it on to make sure the elements are working, and then hold off the glaze firing till next week.


  1. Poor you, having to talk to Olympic, I have had some very disagreeable conversations with them:(
    Hope you like the pumpkin bread, I sprinkled some powdered sugar on top mostly for looks, but it adds a little bit of flavor. I bought two boxes,the last I made muffins with, very good also. I try to do made from scratch but sometimes a quick box mix is a welcome helper.
    Can't wait to see what you do with the earthenware!

  2. Actually, the gal I got was very helpful and good thing, since I wasn't sure if I just needed a whole new tube assembly or just the sensor. Turns out I just needed a sensor and told me how to measure the tube assembly so I could order the right size sensor. I also ordered a new infinite sensor to have on hand since they don't seem to last long;and the last two firings in that test kiln took me 14 hrs or longer and I don't know if it was the cracked sensor or a dying switch or both.
    The powdered sugar sounds good. Sometimes on the sweet breads like banana bread and zucchini bread, I brush some melted butter on top and then sprinkle it with a little sugar. I'm getting hungry! Maybe I'll make it tomorrow so Jim can have it with boiled eggs Sunday morning.

  3. I remember the yummy pizza well!