So it’s back to Castuary, that odd period where life revolves around the kiln, or more specifically, around the molds I’m casting in the kiln.
castuary1.jpgThe process of casting glass kinda reminds me of bringing kids in from recess: Controlled chaos that eventually–hopefully–marches exactly to where you want it.

Glass casting is a gazillion tasks all culminating in Castuary and then, hopefully, in something breathtaking emerging from a crumbling plaster mess.

Currently I’m firing a bunch of little figures, mostly with BE Marzipan, for HostaBowl 2. I’m also doing a trial of the shouting man with billet in an interesting reservoir configuration that may open up new opportunities.

And I’m casting some test blocks to see if I can actually achieve a smooth, high-clarity color ramp. I have high hopes for the latter, a technique I’m developing using a terrific idea from’s resident casting expert.

So there’s a lot riding on that firing. I vented the kiln to 1100 yesterday, closed it up this morning as it was leaving the burnout zone. Now it’s up to the kiln, the molds, and the BE glass inside them. (sound of bitten nail fragments hitting the keyboard)

I’ve noticed that the lid on my Skutt GM1414 has about had it–couple of cracks here and there, it’s crumbled away at the left hinge, and closing has become an operation for an octopus (which also means there’s no way I can open it at temp to add glass or check what’s going on). It’s been a good kiln, pretty much continuously fired for the last five, six years…but it may be time to move on and get a new one.

Yet…even if I order a new kiln today, this one’s got to get me through the next three Castuaries at least. Best I can do is hope and pray that the kiln doesn’t become a wildcard in the interim.

So for now, I’m working on the next mold, playing some tack-fuse games, and anxiously awaiting the end of Castuary, sometime this weekend. –sigh–