Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Spider Holocaust and Other Tales of Glazing Woe

Have I mentioned before that I loathe the glaze? Do not enjoy it. It is, undeniably, the part of my creation process that will mess a pot up faster than you can say, "WHY?!?!?" So, it makes me a bit nervous. And cranky. And anal retentive.

So, today, I had to glaze, seeing as how Pam is driving all the way over here to pick up a gargantuan flower pot. It would be nice if there was one finished, I thought. This involved mixing up more glaze, though. I had a big 50 lb bag of dry glaze that just needed water and a good sieving, so I set to it. Snapped on the respirator, got the buckets ready, and commenced dumping a pile of it into bucket one. Through the dust cloud, I poured an amount of water into the bucket and started mixing. As the dust settled, I had a what the hell moment. I thought that my giant whisk had gotten grass stuck in it or something, but more and more of it started floating up to the top. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it was spiders. All sizes. Lots of them, and by lots I mean dozens. I guess I hadn't sealed up the bag tight enough and they had colonized the area. I felt horrible, being a true trap and release person at heart, but there was nothing to do about it. They were gone. Good thing I was wearing gloves, because the sieving process left a significant pile of spider parts that I hadn't scooped out. No picture here, I really didn't want to share. You're welcome.

I will share a picture of my latest proud creation, the mystical pizza stone. Some bugs to work out on this one before I sell them, but it turned out gorgeous. Story behind this one: Ian and I got a pizza stone for him with our wedding gift cards that he loved using. I didn't use it much because it was always getting pepperoni grease in it which made my vegetarian stomach turn. Not that it would have hurt anything, just kind of freaked me out. So, in Ian's mind, I hated the pizza stone. Fast forward to when we were selling our last house. I had to keep the house in showing order at all times because we were constantly getting people coming in and out. It was right after Christmas and I had made my usual batch of cookies, which were stored in a giant tupperware box on the counter. Someone called first thing in the morning for a showing and I started scurrying about trying to tidy up. I was trying to make sure nothing superfluous was on the counter, so I threw the cookie box in the oven. Weeeelllll, later that day Ian fired that thing up to pizza temperature without peeking in and we started to get fumed out. Yep, that box had melted, making a plastic-y oven rack/pizza stone/cookie sculpture you wouldn't believe. Of course, I had sabotaged the pizza stone on purpose. To make it up to him, this anniversary I tried throwing a pizza stone. Had a great time painting it with a man in the moon pattern and fired two of them (just in case). Good thing, too, because the one that I gave to him did this upon first baking. Nothing like picking shards out of dinner.

The second has held up through numerous pizza bakings, so I think it was just a fluke. Actually, I think I did something a little stupid in the firing and stressed it out unduly. I am not telling what. That's between me and the kiln. Anywhoo, here's the finished result. The jury's out on whether there will be another made to sell...