Yes, you must all be getting fed up with images of spacers. Frankly, so am I! But the truth is that it's less that four weeks until the next folly, and I'm still about 1,500 spacers short. That kind of means I'm three-quarters of the way there, but I still have to clean them all, and stick them all down. So, I thought I'd take a wee ickle break to give an update. This was it on Lady Mary - apart from the fact that, in a perfect world, there will also be time to make some jewellery to accompany the folly!

As far as the pigeons are concerned, the first batch is out of the kiln, so I am pleased to report that there are, in fact, pigeons! Not that I ever doubted that, you understand, but it's good to 'meet' them. It was a rather exciting story, which took place just before I left for Germany, so I only get to share it now:

I was due to leave around 6am on Wednesday morning. After realising that the nuggets I had ordered didn't fit the mould, I made a snap decision to change to Bullseye frit, and ordered it on Monday. It arrived on Tuesday, 9am (Thank you for the amazing delivery service, Warm Glass!). So! Then, I discovered that the frit didn't fit the mould either, and that I'd have to 'top up' about 6 times during the cast (before you ask, yes, I probably could have waited longer and topped up more, but topping up three moulds each time, chucking a coffee cup full of frit at it was about my heat-resisting limit!) So, up went the kiln...90 minutes later, I opened the door to a stinky, smoky studio, with the carbon monoxide alarm going haywire. I then spent three hours standing in the open doorway, eyeing the kiln suspiciously, before I trusted it enough to leave it alone again for brief periods. The topping up took place between 7pm and 11pm. At 4am, I was up again, flash-cooling the kiln...and then I left for the airport. For the next ten days or so, I got daily updates on the kiln temperature, and once, during a brief power outage in Germany, I was caught shouting 'THE PIGEONS!' in reflexive panic. Waiting several days (as one should) after the kiln got room temperature, my husband finally took pity on me, de-moulded them, and took a photo. I have to admit, as a first-time caster with three pigeons as a first-timer project, I'm rather proud of myself! Massive thanks to Fiaz Elson, who advised me on the kiln schedule with such authority that I felt confident to adapt it myself after I switched to Bullseye. I have learnt an enormous amount from this folly!

The date has been confirmed with Shugborough Estate...now, all I need to do is to go through it again, because I'd really rather take six pigeons, than three......... 

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