I held my breath as I cracked the kiln lid and peeked inside at the bisqued sculptures. Everything appeared to be intact. Woo-hoo!
I did a happy dance honoring the Kiln Gods.
My work was cut out for me. Glazing pieces always takes as much time and care as forming them.
After spending the past few months in a glaze-a-thon, I carefully loaded the kiln with the glazed sculptures.
I set the kiln temperature, programming in a good soaking at the end of the firing. Then, I resisted the temptation to peek inside, waiting for it to slowly cool down to 150º. I had 9 months of work riding on it, and I didn’t want to risk thermal shock, with its ensuing cracking and crying.
When I finally opened the kiln, I was rewarded. I usually feel emotional when unloading a glaze firing. It represents the end of a journey, and it is sometimes misaligned with my expectations.
I line up all of the work on the table and breathe it in. Not everything turned out as I expected, but the surprises were mostly good. I congratulate myself, bless the Kiln Gods a second time, and then I feel into what might be next.
“No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by the unexpected.”