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Kiln Maintenance Day

Today is Kiln Maintenance Day. Not a fun task, but essential every now and again. The batt wash on my shelves is the stuff that came with the kiln, and when I put it on, I had no idea what I was doing. It was mixed too thick, and applied too thick, and left an awful mess when it started cracking and flaking, and has just got worse and worse. So, since we just bought a few new shelves that needed a fresh coat of batt wash, I decided to refurbish our existing shelves too.

The new batt wash is a zircon based batt wash (from Scotclay) and it paints on beautifully. I have this on a small shelf that I’ve been using for about a year, and there is not a flake or chip in sight, so I’m looking forward to many years of use before I have to do this horrible job again!

Essential safety equipment!  Nasty stuff coming off of these shelves, not good for your lungs, so a respirator is essential, as are safety glasses (or, in my case, glasses)

Essential safety equipment! Nasty stuff coming off of these shelves, not good for your lungs, so a respirator is essential, as are safety glasses (or, in my case, glasses)

Flaky old shelf, with craters caused by dripped glaze.  Lots of grinding required.

Flaky old shelf, with craters caused by dripped glaze. Lots of grinding required.

Close up of flaky old shelf

Close up of flaky old shelf

Essential tool - Dremel type tool with coarse grinder wheel

Essential tool – Dremel type tool with coarse grinder wheel

Kiln shelf after grinding

Shelf after grinding

Newly batt washed kiln shelf, ready for loading the kiln

Newly batt washed kiln shelf, ready for loading the kiln

 

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West Enders

Day one is done and dusted, but we’re still at the West End Fair in edinburgh for another six days, till 6pm Sunday if you want to come along.

Setup was relatively painless last night, if a little late, with a 7.30pm start, some wallpapering, shelf hanging, light fixing and stock unwrapping, and a midnight finish. The 7am alarm, on 5 hours sleep, was most unwelcome!

But the weather held, mostly, and we had some lovely visitors. Lots of Coos have gone to new homes, and more waiting.

Here we are at the beginning of the day:

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An early night tonight (after a quick peek in the studio to check the kiln) and all ready for another day of market fun.

I hope you’ll stop by for a visit! We have lots of lovely framed tiles looking for new homes and some coos, sheep, Wee Burds and penguins too.