Aye, boys, it was on a night like this that the Old Wormlet went down! All aboard were lost except for me and my dog, Blodger. We slept all night in the raft, tossed by the waves and no idea of where we were! But the worst part were the sounds of them sirens, singing sailors to their doom! All night they sang and all night we listened…. the next day we washed up on the beach and were able to find our way back to civilization. Ar! It were a terrible time…..
It’s approximately 5 degrees F in the studio. The little kerosene heater will not do a lot to heat the room, especially as the north wall is a garage door. In the spring, if the housework allows me, I intend to put up an actual, insulated wall with a real door and a real window! There’s also a little window in the west wall which should be replaced by an insulated window, even a bigger one. I really could use the light. The slab roller takes up a lot of room but is good as a workbench when it’s so cold like this. I am working on carving a mahogany plaque for a headboard. You fire up the kerosene heater and stand with your back to it and you can get some carving done.
Once I get the propane tank installed outside for the noborigama kiln I can run a line to the studio for a propane heater and maybe get at least 3 seasons out of it. I have 4 kiln burners to hook up, two for the big kiln and one for the new medium sized kiln which is slated to be built sometime in the next two years. I have to be realistic what with my discs getting soft and the arthritis in my hands getting worse. It might take me longer to do some fairly simple things to get this studio complex up and running right. In theory I can even set up a small foundry for casting metals.
The one thing I cannot plan for and which I really need is an apprentice or a partner to help with the lifting and stoking. I’ve advertised but the young ones hate the idea of hard work, and tend to want a deal where they make their stuff and then if they stick around later they’ll help me. Not a great plan. So, I guess it’s me and the dog for the time being.
In the course of things I have finally reached the point where I think I have somethings to say and to show. No master by any means of the technologies I employ in my art, still I am trying to get as good as some of the masters I have known and loved, like my beloved Grandfather Riley Shirley, a master sculptor who breathed enough marble dust to petrify most of his lungs, but at the end he was still carving, whittling a small pine wood statue of Lil Abner. At the end, my end, I hope to be doing something creative, something someone could admire and keep.