Friday, June 9, 2017


 I am not sure how I should title this post.
A man and his kiln.
New beginnings.

We are letting go of our large kiln that we built in 1986. We fired many good pots, and many questionable pots in this kiln. It was designed by Mark and built with my help. We used soft brick and dry stacked it, cutting the soft brick as needed to make it fit. We talked about the dry stacking as opposed to the method of mortar. We had seen how difficult it was to take apart a kiln with mortar, our decision was to dry stack in case we needed to take it down or rebuild it. Our thoughts when we built Ms. B was to rebuild this one as a smaller kiln.
Then life changed a bit for us, we found we like working in a smaller kiln, and, I am making more and more tile.
The last time we fired this kiln was January 2016.
Mark told me one day that he was ready to let it go and let it go while the brick could still be used.
We sold the brick and we sold it for a song.
I am sure people will think we were crazy, but behind crazy you can find reason.
 We had our reasons.
We wanted to find someone who would be dedicated to removing the brick from the kiln, and putting that brick back to use, building a new kiln, youth, we were looking for youth, and they found us.
A young couple are in the process of removing the brick and taking it home with them to now plan a new wood fired kiln. They were planning a small kiln, this is going to allow them to build a larger kiln.
There are times in your life that you are helped, we were, and we know it. We built this kiln with help from my parents. Back in the day getting a loan for an art based business was difficult to say the least. They co-signed for us. This was a big investment for us. 5,000.00 . But, if you take that and divide it over 30 years that is 166.67 per year or closer to 200.00 if we are thinking of interest. What we did was pay this off as quick as possible.
As we watched the bricks being stacked in the back of trailers and pickup trucks it is bittersweet.

the patenia of many years of shoes with the local red dirt.
 With bitter is the sweetness of knowing this will be a start for a young potter. It is not always about the dollars, yes, we could have asked more money for the brick, but why? I think we all got what we needed. We are pretty happy watching it go away. We are not leaving it to Rot away and maybe have no use later. Over the past few years I have watched people hang on to things that they think are important. My thoughts is it has no life unless you give it such.
This kiln will have a new life.
 We have new space.
What's next?
Not sure
Stay tune.
Look at the marks the burners made, arches. 


Alex Solla said...

Letting go is so incredibly hard. You both seem to understand how much you've gained from both having and then letting go of this kiln. Call me impressed!

cookingwithgas said...

Thank you. I always listen to you and pay attention to your ability to pick up and move forward. You have inspired me in so many ways. This means a lot to me. Thanks!

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

M, this is inspiring in both the Way of the Artist and in a wonderful decluttering mindset. You were blessed, now you have blessed someone else. Pass it on, pay it forward. Go, Team! :)

cookingwithgas said...

Thank you Karen. There are times that passing something forward and not being stuck on what it meant to you is a good thing.

gz said...

It is going to a good home, with others starting out..and you are making more pots in a new kiln...just the way to go!

cookingwithgas said...

Thank you- it feels a little lighter around here without the wondering of what to do.

Maggie said...

Thank you for sharing...hugs to both of you.

cookingwithgas said...

Thanks Maggie.

Anna said...

great to see it being reused and encouraging to know a younger generation are getting a start in their clay journey with your help

cookingwithgas said...

It's the right thing to do.

Tracey Broome said...

I love this post. I have had to let go of so many things the past few years, family members, pets, belongings. In the end you are left with the memories. It was so hard for me to let go of all of Wesley's Barbie world, but looking at the photos of your grandchild playing with all of that stuff brought me more joy than having it in my attic. The giving away turned out to be better than the keeping.
I remember watching the truck drive away with my old kiln, there were a few tears and then relief that I didn't have to move it to my new house! Beginnings and endings circle of life. Its all a mystery :)

cookingwithgas said...

Yes, TB there is a time for everything, this seemed so right, so ready, feels so good.