Cracks, Recycling and Cats
January 1, 2009
So the last batch of tiles I made before driving to my parents’ home in Virginia was something of a disaster. First of all, I broke the slab roller:
I mean, technically I didn’t break it. The spring that works the mechanism is apparently cheap and tends to wear out on a regular basis, so that’s not a big deal, but the chain mechanism that controls the height of the roller was loose, plus the threads on the screw that adjusts that height were completely stripped and will need to be replaced. All of these things are relatively normal wear and tear issues–the slab roller is ancient after all, eventually parts need replacing. However, I was the one using it when it decided to quit working, and it had been acting funny for a week or so before I actually brought it to anyones attention, which may have aggravated the problems. So it has officially been out of commission for 2 weeks and won’t be fixed before the show opens.
This means I’ve been rolling everything out by hand, the old school style with a rolling pin and lots of elbow grease. It actually doesn’t take me much longer doing it by hand, but there is a new learning curve in terms of little details about how you flip the slab, when you cut it up, how you move it around, etc. etc. My first batch of hand rolled slabs were fine, the second, completed right before the drive to Virginia, not so much…
sigh… so all of those bone dry slabs were broken up and dumped in a bucket to be recycled. I think I was in a rush before the holidays and didn’t baby them as much as they need. They were all stuck to the boards so when they shrank during the drying process, there was no wiggle room and they all cracked. I finally got around to recycling all of that clay yesterday so here’s a quick photo rundown on how that works (feel free to skip if you already know):
It’s kind of amazing to me that this works–bone dry, unmanageable clay can magically become a brand new block through a few simple steps. Cool.
Stay tuned for the next episode: Frames!
On an unrelated note, I think the cat is even grumpier about my apartment’s lack of heat than I am!
Desperate times call for desperate measures.