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Happy happy joy joy, the exploding foot didn’t wreck anything!

There is a lady in the class I kiln-slave for, who made a pair of legs with a removable crotch (don’t ask….). Her foot broke off before the firing, and she repaired it. Or so I thought. Turns out she had barely reattached it and forgot to vent the pocket of air she had trapped in the foot itself to boot. So, when I opened the kiln yesterday morning, I found pieces of foot all over my goddamn kiln. In front of the doors, down the side of the burners (on both sides) and tucked here and there in the shelving.

To say I was angry does not begin to describe it.

But, what made me happy was twofold. For one, no piece of foot shrapnel hit anything else. An unvented raw clay piece is like a bomb is a bomb; the water and air rapidly expand when heated to 1700 degrees F and have to go somewhere. The fact that it broke nothing in the kiln (some of the things were rather delicate, too) is about as much of a miracle as lobbing a shrapnel grenade into a filled room and not hitting anybody. As such, I am regarding this as a Kiln-God related miracle, and am plotting an appropriate thank-you. The other happy Kiln-God-related moment was when I found a porcelain piece by the burners while searching for lost toes. Its a spiral carved triangle, broken into 3 pieces. No telling how long it’s been there; the last person to use porcelain hasn’t been here in 6 months so it’s been there at least that long, through  5 fires that I can remember so far. Its my luck-talisman now, and will probably become the basis for a Kiln God jar.

Tomorrow we load an oxidation glaze run. Give me luck, oh god of Kilns and Fluxing.

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