February 27, 2009
When embarking on a career as an artist, it’s important to have a well-traveled kiln. And so Oliver Wendell, my new kiln, appears to be taking the long way home.
In December, after enough kiln travails to fill a book, I bought a kiln from Olympic. They kindly belled and whistled it for my particular casting needs. (more detail if I ever get to actually turn the dratted thing on)
Naturally, a week or so later I had no place to put it. Among other things, I’d discovered that sculpture is my life and my life is turning my house into a superfund site. My house issued an ultimatum: “Stop with the casting, dump all that plaster/fiberglass/rubber crud and clean the wax off the ceiling, or we’re through!”
I called the realtor that afternoon.
December 31, 2008
Whew. My kiln problems–I’ve been essentially kilnless since July–are about to be resolved. FINALLY.
I won’t go into the full saga–it’s a sad and pitiful tale that hasn’t completely ended even yet–but yesterday I ordered a new kiln. It won’t be the intelligent kiln of my dreams, not at first, but the door’s open for expansion in that direction. And it’s a bit radical, as least as far as glass casting is concerned, so I’ll still have plenty to experiment with.
August 13, 2008
I am a world-class Microsoft Excel junkie (My motto should be Pivot Tables R Us), so you gotta know that if there is a way to get glass into a spreadsheet, I’m gonna find it.
I got tired of “figgerin” on paper when my stuff would come out of the kiln. So I built a little firing calculator to do it for me, and you’re welcome to download the file and try it. (You’ll need an application that can read Microsoft Excel 2003 files). At some point–if I EVER get around to relaunching my main website–I’ll probably convert this to a web calculator so I can get to it from wherever.
July 29, 2008
So what if your kiln was smart? (Gosh, this sounds like a GE commercial)
But… what if your kiln really was smart? What if it sensed things happening during a firing, analyzed and decided on a course of action, then responded appropriately?
Would that make a difference in the way you fire glass? The time it takes? The way you construct molds or assemble the glass? In your firing success rates? The amount of glass you could fire at one time? Would it allow you to discover (and potentially auto-correct) a problem that occurs during firing? Most important, would it make a difference in what you can fire?