Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Closing in on the holiday season

We unloaded the gas kiln yesterday which means that we spent a day of sanding and then packing pots to be shipped to new homes. I like to update photos in my Etsy shop, as glazes can vary by firing, some slightly... and on occasion, dramatically. The photos in my listings represent the variations that can occur with each making and glazing cycle. Yesterday was overcast, perfect for our photography set up, so I took some time and snapped a few photos prior to packing up the piggy banks. Here is a sample of the latest pigs...

The classic piggy bank glazed in nuka white is always a favorite

This is one is the larger size piggy bank. Gloss green and nuka white glaze.

I just started making this piggy bank with the blue/black dots. It's slowly gaining in popularity

I am not sure why, but last month it felt like online sales were a little slower than October of 2017. I checked my stats on Etsy, and according to them I was ahead 3%. Not a whopping increase, but at least it wasn't lower! Sales took off over the weekend and have remained steady. I am hoping it's an indicator of a good holiday season.

Today there are two ware boards of pig bodies waiting for me to assemble. Hopefully I can get them to the right stage of stiffness, despite the humidity.
Remember to get out and vote today, if you haven't already!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Wired and Ready

Our old electric kiln is ready to go! Yesterday we fired the last bisque in the gas kiln. We actually have two electric kilns, the one to the right needs a little work. Jeff will do the repairs at some point and we can fire back to back if need be. While the electrician was here we had some more outlets put in the basement. We were using a couple of extension cords down there, one was to run the dehumidifier, and that made us nervous. Little by little this old house will be brought up to the 21st century!

These little salt and pepper pigs came out of the last firing. They are rather tedious to put together. Smaller isn't always easier.

Last week I was assembling a few more and I ended up with an odd number of bodies, so I decided to have some fun with the oddball...

I turned him into a bull! He has larger holes on his back and he will make a great red pepper flake or Parmesan cheese shaker. Isn't he the cutest thing?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

We Have The Power...

In between the two hurricanes, Duke Energy came out to our house and installed a transformer at the top of our driveway. The new transformer also meant replacing the utility pole. We have been working on getting this done since August. This house has had a lot weird electrical issues since we bought it in 2015. The lights would dim whenever the heat pump came on and the LED track lighting in the kitchen would barely glow if the toaster oven was running. Turn the microwave on at the same time and the microwave turntable slowed to a crawl and nothing heated up. If I was cooking dinner at night, toaster oven on, lights on, AC running, and Jeff was still working in the studio... his wheel would slow to a crawl!  Our electrician couldn't find anything wrong in the house so we finally called Duke. They sent an engineer out to assess the situation and he determined that the transformer at the end of our long driveway was too far from the house and undersized for the amount of electricity that today's homes require. The fix was putting in this new transformer.

The good news is that it appears to have fixed the problem. Even better news is that we are now having our electrician come this week to wire our electric kiln!

For the last three years we have been firing to bisque in the gas kiln. First we ran out of money to have the electric kiln wired. Second, after living here a bit, we realized we may not have enough power to run the electric kiln... unless we turned everything off in the whole house. While there is nothing wrong with firing the bisque in the gas kiln, it is more work to load. Then there is the time factor. We can be firing a bisque while the gas kiln is firing. Glaze the pots and have them ready for back to back glaze firings. When there are orders to fill it is much more efficient. Lately it seems we are struggling to get things out on time. Fingers crossed that it all works out!