October 21, 2013 § 4 Comments
I am doing a bit of metaphorical fire-fighting in the workshop at the moment. It has been a busy couple of months with a lot to keep on top of. Keeping the workshop running smoothly has been a challenge – having pots for orders to be delivered to shops as well as feeling that I have enough pots to take to these three autumn fairs that I am currently in the middle of (each of which is two weeks apart!). A key issue has been scheduling the kiln firings. The kiln, obviously, has a finite capacity and, as I begin to make larger pieces, the number of pots that I can fit into it becomes ever more limited. So, to get the required pots at a particular time takes strict organising. This isn’t my forte but my lovely blackboards have helped. I now write down in the diary for the month ahead what needs to be made, when and, crucially, the all important firing schedule – and then transfer this information onto the two blackboards in my workshop.
I bought the kiln sometime in the spring of last year and really had no idea how to judge the capacity in terms of what I required. I bought it from Northern Kilns after a telephone conversation with them and a look at their website. In an attempt to make my choice, I took all my bowls and mugs and jugs out of the cupboards and lay them on the floor in various configurations to mimic the sizes of the different kilns. When they delivered the one I ordered to my workshop my jaw hit the floor. I thought I’d made a terrible mistake. I thought, ‘I’m never going to fill that in a million years!’ Now I feel it needs a companion.
This picture (the only one I have that includes my kiln) was taken a few weeks after moving into my current workshop. The workshop looks nothing like this now. To see what it does look like, you could come to one of the 3 open days that my workshop complex (Dockfield Road Creative Arts Hub, Dockfield Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD17 7AD) is having in the run-up to Christmas.
Sunday 17th November
Saturday 30th November
Sunday 8th December
Maybe see you then…