Friday, June 22, 2012

Glazing, Firing & Drinking Irish Whiskey

Kiln is fixed! I should be ok to fire this weekend. So glazing/loading tonight and if I can fill the kiln, then I will fire it off tonight as well. That should not be an issue as I always have stuff kicking around that has been glazed, but not fired, and then there is that whack of stuff that needs to be re fired from the last time a kiln element blew.

So, that will be my evening. I don’t want to have to unload a kiln of mugs the same day that they are picking them up. That would be too nerve wracking.

We are having our 2nd semi annual studio clean up day next Wednesday. We have been in the space for 3 years, and have had difficulties cleaning and maintaining it. Because it is a privately owned recreational studio, with all different kinds of people, cleanliness can be an issue. Some people don’t feel that they should have to clean up things like wedging tables, plaster tables, the floor around their wheel etc as they pay to come here to get away from cleaning at home. They feel it is the ownerships responsibility. Others are just plain forgetful, and others are just lazy (I probably fall in that category to some degree)

One person can not maintain the space on their own. The floors are unsealed concrete and they do not clean up well. If this was a city run operation, then there would be a budget for cleaners etc. The bonus for coming in to clean the studio is that we will all be going out to the Dog & Duck for a wind up party for the Water Valley Celtic Music Festival. There will be some of the musicians from the festival in attendance and I am sure the music will be great, as usual.

In the discussion surrounding this clean up / wind up “party”, Dave, our fearless leader, was regaling stories from our trip to Ireland to anyone that would listen. Apparently I am an alcoholic, at least in his version of events (which get distorted with every telling). Yes, I was seen taste testing various scotches, bourbons & Irish whiskeys at the Middleton Distillery near Cork (they used to make Jameson’s there) and was a bit flushed in some of the post distillery pictures. You can’t visit and not do that. I learned several things that day. I learned why I don’t like scotch, and why I actually do like Irish whiskey best. I do not like the taste of burnt dirt (aka smoky peat). I also like it because it is triple distilled, unlike bourbon (aka corn whiskey) which is traditionally only distilled once.

Yes, I was also seen lifting a pint or 2 of Murphy’s Stout and Guinness on occasion. But to hear Dave tell it, I was sloshing everywhere we went. BTW, I like Murphy’s better than Guinness, but I don’t believe you can get it here in Canada, at least not this far west, but then I have not looked that hard either. I have to say, that with the amount of food we ate, and most of it being in the form of soda bread, spotted dick, more bread, breaded fish, chips, potatoes etc… it’s a wonder anyone can get drunk in Ireland. When we were at Marcus’s for the salt firing and other pottery related demos etc, we started our day with oatmeal, at 10:00 we stopped for a tea break that usually included scones, spotted dick, other assorted bready items etc. Then there was lunch, and the 2:00 tea break and then dinner at about 6. By then, I had consumed my carbohydrate allotment for the year. I should mention that just before we went on this wee adventure, I had been on the Atkins Diet which contains absolutely no refined or processed carbs of any kind. I fell off that carb wagon very fast. It didn’t hurt much as bread is soft and apparently I was drunk anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I worked in a community studio in Vancouver and the rule was clear: clean up or no continued membership. This meant spending the last 10 minutes wiping down the canvas table I'd been using, cleaning the plaster board if it was used, cleaning the wheel and, most important for cleanliness and dust reduction, mopping around the wheel.

    It did work through instructor and veteran peer pressure. Is it possible to implement the 10 minute cleanup rule and for veterans to work peer-pressure on newer students?