Sunday, May 01, 2016

Oh what a week...

Oh my, the work just doesn't let up. 

Here I am, on a Bank Holiday weekend, on a Sunday morning, sitting at my laptop, preparing a lecture on the Netflix and the Post-Television environment. It's interesting stuff, but I'd still rather do something else on a Sunday.

It's been quite the week, to be honest. There has been work, of course, and hospital appointments, and pottery, but undoubtedly most exciting is the arrival of Betty:

Isn't she a beauty? 

For ages I used to drive past a little pottery workshop on my way to work. Every time I thought 'one day I'll stop and have a look', but of course I never did. Then, one day, a 'For Sale' sign went up on the house, and, well, I might have panicked a bit, because I HADN'T YET HAD A CHANCE TO LOOK AT ALL THE POTTERY! 

D suggested that I just drive there, not on my way to work, when I'm always too busy to stop, and knock on the door, and well, that's exactly what I did, and let me tell you, I'm so glad I did!

It turned out that the workshop was not currently seeing a lot of use, because S., the potter, had had quite a rough few years, with a few close family losses. Because of that she hadn't done much pottery, and now she was downsizing and moving house. As we were chatting she revealed that she was quite anxious about what to do with her two kilns. Kilns are heavy (very heavy) things, and she wasn't sure who'd take them away for her. She also didn't have room for them in the new workshop she was getting ready, so she wanted to be rid of them.

To keep the story short, she offered me both kilns FOR FREE, as long as I was prepared to have them removed from her workshop. I was speechless.

In the end I convinced L. the potter who runs the pottery classes I attend, to take the gas kiln, which I thought was beyond my capabilities, and I decided to keep Betty, who is an electric kiln. 

So far so good, but as it turns out, getting kilns moved anywhere beyond a few inches is really not an easy thing to organise. Kilns are not only heavy, but fragile - they have brittle fire bricks inside, and they can't be tipped onto their side. The drive leading to the workshop was fairly steep, and made of gravel, both not things that are fantastic for pallet trucks. There were trees overhanging the drive - not great for lorries. 

It took me quite a few weeks to find a local company who was brave enough to take the job on, and let me tell you, getting them out of that workshop, and getting Betty unloaded and into my workshop at home was high drama. Initially two guys turned up with a lorry and a pallet truck, but they had to admit defeat and call in help. In the end it took four men and the pallet truck to shift the kilns out of the workshop and onto the lorry and to unload Betty at our end. Apparently unloading the gas kiln at L's was far less dramatic so I'm sure the poor removal guys were very relieved. 

They did a fantastic job though, and, throughout the ordeal didn't lose their cool or their good humour. If I ever have any other unwieldy items to move I will definitely contact them again! 

Betty needs a bit of work, and she also isn't connected yet. If I get a chance I'll try to get an electrician to connect her up sometime next week, but really, I'm just glad that the move went OK and she is safely tucked up in the workshop. :)

In other news, I've been crocheting a bit. The CAL has started and unlike some other CALs I've taken part in over the years this one has quite a comfortable pace. There are four squares to complete each week, which, despite my crazy workload at the moment, has been just about achievable. It's quite fun so far. :)  

Not the greatest picture and the colours are a bit off, but it's a grey day today so the light isn't fantastic for taking pictures...

Close up of Week One - popcorn stitches

Close-up of Week Two - star stitches (I loved these - so much fun, and the resulting texture is lovely!)

Shared with:
A Year of Projects


  1. What an amazing find, both doing each other a favour and now you have your little dream come true. It couldn't be better...

  2. Oh my goodness!!!! What a great gift! So glad you got Betty home safely and she's now sitting there all beautiful and waiting for some pretty pottery to fire. Your crocheted squares are looking lovely. I really like the close up shots to see those great stitches.

  3. OMG! How fortunate are you? FREE???? Those kilns are so expensive although I'm sure just moving them wasn't cheap but congrats! You were meant to have them and to be able to share your good fortune! Double win! Actually it was a triple win for all 3 of you.
    Love the stitches on your crochet blocks. I find doing handwork when things are stressful and busy is the best thing to slow your heart rate and put things in perspective. I'm usually more productive after I "sit for a bit" and do handwork of some kind. Have a great week!

  4. how exciting to have your own kiln!!!! I can only imagine the happy dancing going on at your place!!!

  5. What a great find and now that Betty is in place you can enjoy having her once she's all connected up and I can't wait to see what beautiful makes come out of her!

  6. What a stroke of luck? Bet you can't wait to get her connected and I can't wait to see your creations!

  7. Kismet you and this kiln. How exciting Betty will be working soon for you!

  8. How amazing to have your own kiln. I do hope that it survived it's move and works well in its new home! Hope you got your work done and were able to relax a bit over the weekend?

  9. I love the story of Betty! What a brilliant way to acquire a kiln. And I thought organising piano removals was bad.