Folk Festival Prep

The Folk Festival is almost here! This weekend, in fact. The nerves, I have them. I’ve been working under the assumption that set-up wouldn’t start until Friday, but it’s starting a day earlier this year and I really can’t skip out on a few hours or show up late because I’m helping to organize the craft tent. Tomorrow is a day off (probably) for the Royal St. John’s Regatta[2], but I’m working during the day Thursday. And then setting up a bunch of booths Thursday evening. So no practical time on Thursday for firing.

So I’ve been mildly panicky this week, envisioning the torture of all-night glazing, which would leave me wrecked even BEFORE the all-night festival started, or leaving the house and trusting the kiln sitter to shut things down on time[1], which would be terrifying in so many ways and is for many sane reasons not an option.

But it occured to me tonight that I have a small kiln, and if I rush a glaze firing she can hit temp in 5.5 hours. And she doesn’t take much longer to cool…


The Plan:
1. Fire bisque kiln full o’ tiles, pate dishes, and mugs tonight. (Estimated shut-off time: midnight). While kiln is heating up, glaze pile o’ Robot mugs and two bee mugs that are sitting on my shelves. Also, write blog post, because blog has been feeling neglected lately.

2. Let kiln cool overnight. Griselda’s small, so 5 hours or so should do it, especially if I leave the windows open and don’t mind unloading her while still kinda warm. It’s not like I haven’t done it with bigger, slower-cooling kilns before. At arse-crack of dawn, crack kiln. Unload bisqueware. Load with Robots and bees. Also, quickly glaze and re-load whichever tiles will fit.

3. Fire. Estimated start time: 7:00 ay em. Estimated end time: lunchtime.

4. While kiln is cooling, get lunch from Delicious Indian Food people at the Regatta. Also, ice cream from Moo Moo’s and cotton candy from itinerant carny.

5. Glaze remaining tiles, bee mugs and Robot pate dishes from bisque. Around 6:00, unload morning’s glaze firing, and load evening glaze firing. Estimated end time: midnight.

6. Next morning: unload last glaze, haul everything downstairs and onto front porch. Add sound of palm sander on pottery bottoms to morning cacophony of alarms and car doors.

7. Go to work. Come home, pack pots, arrive at set-up precisely on time.



[1] NEVER, EVER DO THIS. No matter how pressed for time you are, or how reliable your kiln sitter has been. Accidents can and do happen. Always be present at the end of your firings. 

[2] Do other places have weather-dependent civic holidays? Curious minds want to know.

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