Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mud

It looks like I can do this one last post before the 100th post, which at this point looks like the dinner with Shatner thing. I meant to post some pictures of some of the actors I mentioned in the last post, but I don't quite seem to have the hang of it yet. Maybe later. I know you're all dying to at least see what the guy in the Vorlon suit looks like.

Last night I spent playing with mud. Literally. The soil around our house is not what I would like to have for gardening. There is too much clay in it for my liking. Clay is heavy and difficult to dig and deal with in general. Many plants do not like it. Once in a while, I think I'm going to get serious about the gardening, and I put a lot of work into mixing other things with the soil to improve drainage and such. But it is so much damn work, and by the time I get halfway done with it I decide it is too late in the season to worry about plants and I move on to some other project.

So I have wondered if there was enough clay to use the stuff for ceramics. I put some of it through a kitchen strainer and fired a few rings. It appears to be terra cotta, which is not my favorite clay but it could still be useful for a lot of things (and I'm very new at this and may decide later that terra cotta is just wonderful). Still, there was a lot of sand in it, so it isn't very smooth. The instructor was even worried that there might be so much sand that the sand would melt in the clay and cause it to stick to the kiln shelf. That did not happen, but it still is a lot of sand to deal with.

While I thought I had thoroughly sifted the clay with the kitchen strainer, there are finer screens for this type of work. Before I spent twenty dollars or more on a set of screens I might never use again, I took most of a five gallon bucket of mud to school and borrowed the instructor's screens.

It took about four hours to put all of that mud through two screens. It isn't hard physical work, but it does take a long time. If I decide to do this on a regular basis, with a good chair and something to prop up the bucket of mud up to a comfortable level, it could even be relaxing. I might find a way to do it watching TV, but if not, listening to music should not be a problem.

Still, four hours is a long time, even if it isn't hard work. Afterwards, I felt like I had done a lot of hard work. Today, I feel awful.

Maybe it is just a coincidence. Maybe I was going to feel awful today anyway. But I can't think of anything else I did that would be the cause of it. Or at least, I didn't physically do anything to feel bad like this.

Anyway, I have about four gallons of smooth slip. It still isn't clay. It needs to dry out a bit and be kneaded before it will be usable as clay.

The other thing that happened in ceramics class today was that the instructor became obsessed with getting everyone's vase in a metal can and ready to be fired. He had several of us trade cans to try and hurry things along. It seemed pretty pointless, since there are already too many of them to be fired at once. I did two vases, so he had me trade cans with someone so that I could get both vases in the same can. But one of them is going to have a design painted on with slip, which was why I made two vases, and I haven't done that yet so who cares if they both fit in the same can?

Spring break is next week. I am supposed to out of town with my husband. No place special, just someplace in the middle of nowhere closer to his work assignment. I forgot when spring break was, and I almost went away with him this week instead. Not that I especially wanted to go to that place either, but just the fact that he said he missed me and asked me to go was nice. I needed a break, and I was looking forward to it.

Now that my week off is nearly here, I'm not so sure that I want to go. I should go, unless I have a good reason not to. In theory, I could stay home and clean house and do garden work.

Everyone who thinks that would actually happen, please raise your hands.

I don't think so either. At least if I'm in a motel room doing nothing, I'll have an excuse to do nothing. There's not much work I can get done from a motel room.

Starting tomorrow is a bunch of one year anniversaries to the bad stuff. Maybe I'd rather just not be around him for that. But that will go on for like two months, and I don't really want to avoid him for two months. But being in a motel room with him for a week might be a bad idea.

3 comments:

nobodyinparticular said...

Take a long hot bath while reading Laurell K. Hamilton, eat a bowl of your favorite ice cream (perhaps in the bath as well) and/or go shopping at your favorite store. Might make you feel better. Probably would not make anything any worse.

laughingattheslut said...

The bath is planned, but the ice cream and the shopping require money. This morning I was fishing quarters and dimes out of a jar for breakfast money.

no said...

Just don't drop the books in the water and you will OK. They like to swell to double their size when you do that.