turned on a beautiful penultimate day for us.
Sad on the bus to see an elderly man talking quietly but angrily to himself all the way, while the beautiful downs flowed by on the right and the beautiful beautiful sea passed on the left.
After eating a final archetypal cheese scone (though like all archetypes, they are not quite what they were) it was time to wander past the respectable houses and then the edge of the marshes, glimpsing towards the chalk.
The bay was draughty rather than stormy; even so the spray was flying from the prom, and the lucid (and literal) aquamarine turned ominous as soon as the sun left it.
A lifeboat station shop yielded second-hand books (a rash purchase at this moment) and a sugar fix. On the bus, the downs flowed on the left and the sea passed on the right.
Ah the pleasure of the slow stopper:
How one relaxes into the solitude…
Much later, and across the Severn by road, Wales began (as usual) to rain.
A black carpet gives you warning, and blocked plumbing realises your worst fears. One of the nearest-and-dearests reconstituted himself as the Human Plunger and, with a technique never matched except in the most dramatic fake CPR seen in medical soaps, dislodged the sludge. (My hero.) This left us with the problem of walking without touching the carpet (fairly easy) and of sleeping without touching the sheets (fairly difficult).
The event itself involved the usual scrum, with an excellent mitigation: an official quiet room. Here I joined the autistic-spectrum mates and rellies and ate my plate of buffet in peace.
one instalment of an indefinite journey. On this basis it could be a long one.
Bother Oxford, I thought sniffily, going out as the rain slowed. So I turned left, interested by the curious mixture of pretension and seediness that characterised the area. (Click an image for the gallery)
Today I travelled home. Someone burned the toast at Oxford station and we evacuated, but luckily that was the only drama.
Further to yesterday: the only recipe for which I had flux available was one using alkaline frit. So I weighed and slopped and began to sieve and belatedly discovered that the lumps of frit were not dispersible conglomerations but solid as concrete. After bashing with half a brick they still looked like this:
A sealed pack of frit was also trying to turn itself into lumps, though not yet fully gone off. I have dolloped some of that into the mix (and it did more or less sieve through) but have no idea how much to add. The lumps I removed can’t be weighed accurately as they are now wet, and will also have bits of the other ingredients stuck to them.
Oh well – everything about the next batch of ware will be experimental, so what’s another experiment …?
36 hours, and being Dickens there is a lot of redundancy, so it doesn’t matter if your attention wanders for a minute or two. This came in handy for a number of very dull jobs, and in fact is well read. I find Boz quite annoying, but every now and then I can’t help bursting into laughter,
One of the dull jobs: skipped it last year, but now it’s back to stirring and reconstituting neglected glazes, dried to solid discs at the bottom of pots. Also hunting for a low temperature glaze recipe which – and this is the key thing – uses up those bags of ingredients already sitting dustily on the shelf. Gerstley borate? No. Lead bisilicate? No. EPK? No. Ummm…
Boss-eyed with e-books, working on an imposition scheme seemed restful, until the prototype went wrong for the third time.
The traditional method (poundage a little excessive):
Being impatient, I also tried the modern method, in spite of a curious smell, which might have been the microwaved elastic bands. It sort of worked; though it is surprising how much water there was in these few small specimens. At least it used up the stack of essay drafts as blotting paper, a fate that they well deserved.
it’s a seasonal thing at any time, but after a long … long … sabbatical it was odd to sit to the wheel again. In fact, so long that I am impressed that it still goes at all. Best £50 I ever spent.
And after what seems like weeks sorting out the workshop, it’s good to have some new ware to put in it. Miniatures, so I can fool around with some new techniques. Don’t know what they will be yet, but one might work.