Well, we've had a beautiful week of weather here, and it's been lovely working in the studio with the sun streaming in through the doors and windows. Clay work which was taking three or four days to become leatherhard is now drying too quickly. Late last night I made a handle for a mug (we're not talking mass production here) and left it on the bench overnight to firm up a little..by the time I got to it in the morning it was rock hard and dry as a bone, so I had to chuck it away and start again. Usually that kind of thing only happens at the height of summer.
The only slight downer is that I've been feeling rather ill this week with some kind of weird bug..it's been like having a bad cold coming on but it never quite arrives or goes away. I'm grateful not to be laid out with the flu, but I've been pretty sluggish and lacking in energy. Hopefully it will be gone next week as my plan is to spend some time designing and building an experimental, mini wood-fired kiln. It's going to be a proper Heath Robinson concoction, mainly using kiln fibre and fencing mesh to make the kiln chamber, and Durox blocks for the platform. I've no idea what kind of temperatures I'll be able to reach with it..I'm guessing high earthenware (1150 degrees C) and I'll be delighted if I can get it up to cone 4 or 5.