Saturday, August 16, 2014

Blood sweat and groans

Got the kiln unloaded and of course the glue on the wadded pots had gone up the flue during the aborted firing, so I brought the pots on the shelves into the studio and got all the wads glued back on.

Then I installed the new thermocouple for the pilot burner and turned on the kiln. Fine so far, turned the heat up high no blue flame and a couple of seconds later the kiln shut down. So it look like I need a new baso valve.

I tried to clean out the orifices by reaching into the kiln with my make shift long piece of wood with a  thin sewing needle taped to the end. This has worked for 40 years, but I just couldn't feel the orifice opening, nor see it with the 3 flash lights I tried. I also noticed that the burners were not only slightly tilted, but not centered properly in the port openings. So I got out some pliers figuring I could loosen the bolts that hold the metal bar that the burners are attached to, and try to remove the burners to clean them. All the bolts are frozen. Being prepared for most studio problems, I went in to get some liquid wrench spray to unfreeze those bolts and as I was spraying, my left hand was in front of one of the wind screens, which was secured from wind with a very large, heavy brick.

Somehow I managed to hit the wind screen and it and the heavy brick came crashing down on top of the front of my left pinkie hitting the bottom edge of the nail and creating a deep gash in the finger. Intense pain, blood everywhere, ran to the studio to run finger under water, grab hand towel paper and get in the house for a better look, antiseptic and band aids and antibiotic cream. The pain was so intense that it made me nauseous. A tylenol or maybe just time made the severe pain go away after about twenty minutes. Now it's just aching.and a lovely color of blackish blue/purple but still bleeding.

Bottom line is I will not be firing this soda or any kiln for a few days at least. I hope when the plumber arrives he
can fix that plumbing, get those burners off and get the pipe they sit on shifted so that they will point straight up.

Time to change these band aids. It's been over a half an hour now with me sitting here with my left hand in the air most of the time, trying to slow it down. I sure hope I don't have to get stitches. It's the family's last night here before they head back to L.A. and I'd much rather be spending it with them, than at the emergency ward.

My daughter-in-laws step father and our friend Doctor Bob is on the way over to take a look at it. Maybe there's a special suture like tight bandage can close this gash. I certainly hope so.


  1. ouch! ouch! OUCH!
    I hope your finger is not as bad as it sounds! Sudden pain really can stop you in your tracks!
    Toes crossed that the kiln problems are easily solved and that you get some family time!

  2. Nnnngngng! Just when you needed everything to go smoothly. Of course, isn't it always the way? More important that you heal and get time with your family than that the pots get fired though. I'm sure the 'ladies who lunch' will be just as welcoming if you don't have a full stall.

  3. Oh no! I hope you didn't need stitches and that you were able to enjoy the evening with family and friends.