Back to work today, firing a bisque, and glazing pots for a second
firing today, a glaze. I don't feel like I have enough
electricity coming in to fire two kilns at once, so if I'm firing two
kilns in a day, I try to do a bisque firing first, as it's shorter, and
allows more time to turn the glaze kiln up before bedtime.
I also mowed for the first time this year, with the riding lawnmower a
friend gave us. It doesn't really mow very well, compared to a
regular walk behind type, what with its large turning radius, but if
you put it in about 5th gear, you can certainly have fun mowing a lawn.
I'm still considering how to decorate it for use in parades this
year. I suppose to be less environmentally hypocritical, I should
push it in the parade...
Today was a repeat of yesterday (two kiln firings), except for doing
some garden work instead of mowing. At this point, in the pottery
workshop, the shelves are about empty, but out front in the display the
shelves are full. I plan soon to add a wall on one side of the
outdoor display to reduce wind exposure, and change from funky slab
shelves to wider pine board shelves, which will allow more pots on
display. More pots is good, but it means more to dust.
This is the worst time of year, during the pine pollen season, for
getting the pots dusty. So I ordered a high power blower from a
surplus website yesterday to try and blow the dust off the pots, since
dusting about 500 pots by hand gets old fast...
I played music with my bassist friend outdoors without amplification at
a large garden expo today. It's nice to be an acoustic musician,
to not have to deal with electrical equipment, but the temptation is
always there to conform and get at least a sound system. Then you
have to contend with issues like feedback, weird noises, and proper
balance. Ideally it's best to play venues where someone else is
worrying about those things, but those kinds of gigs are hard to come
I weeded the part of the garden that's
planted for the first time today, and it's shorts weather. My son
went swimming up in Sandpoint (but I'd guess not for very long, as that
lake is always cold, even in August...
You should never work on Sunday, because, besides it being against the
10 commandments, you might find a bisque kiln badly overfired, meaning
that when you really get to work on Monday, there will be lots of
disappointing pots to glaze. It looked as though a pot in the
kiln shifted against the kiln sitter rod, holding it up so it wouldn't
I was also doing gardening today, but
that's a pastime. I manured a large plot and planted it to corn,
with a row of transplanted volunteer cosmos along the side fronting the
I saw a crow apparently attacking
a cat today. As I bicycled closer, I saw that the cat had a
mouse, and the crow was just trying to steal it, like seagulls do from
ducks at the duck pond.
Due to the overfired bisque yesterday, I decanted some of the water off
the top of two of my glazes to make it thicker, and used those two
glazes to decorate the whole kiln load. I had to leave some of
the pots to dry for hours before they could be handled.
Fortunately my noon Potter's Guild meeting gave me the time to do
that. I also got materials to improve the new pottery display
shelves. The wood slabs I used last year were free, but too
narrow to do a good job of displaying, so I got conventional spruce
boards. Also we decided to add a windscreen on one side to reduce
dust and wind damage.
A fine day in the upper 70's today. I made mugs in the morning,
moved the last manure around the garden before lunch, and started
building shelves in the afternoon. It was a good day to be busy.
In the orchard the apple blossoms are at their best. Only a few
bumblebees and small (probably native) bees are pollinating. The
bee colony that lived in our cottonwood tree disappeared last winter,
as did thousands of cultivated hives across the country. If you
wanted an ominous sign of potential ecological collapse, this might be
the Silent Spring Rachael Carson was writing about... However,
taking a less apocalptic approach, there weren't a lot of bees last
spring either, but there were enough that I had to spend a lot of time
thinning the orchard anyway.
Serious garden planting today. I save seeds from peas, green
beans, and spinach, so there are always lots of those planted. I
also planted zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, potatoes, and
carrots. About half the tomatoes and peppers were transplanted
out--the rest will wait a week or so in case of late frost.
Because of all the horse manure we add every year (3 large
trailer loads to the main garden this year), which makes a loose top
soil, I don't till the garden except for the rows where carrots are
I make several plantings
spaced two-three weeks apart of spinach, corn, and peas, since they all
ripen and are finished, rather than producing an ongoing crop. The new
addition this year is pole beans--to get a few for late in the
season after the main crop is past. I've grown them in the distant
past, and didn't like the way the pollen above my eyes affected my
allergies... Potatoes is a reintroduction, since a blight
several years ago made us rotate them out until (hopefully) the disease