I wish I could tell you that the gap between posts was a sign of intense productivity, but unfortunately it isn't. I have picked up an adenovirus, which is supposed to be a minor infection, often not even noticed by the healthy. It's supposed to last about a week but I've been sick for several weeks now and over a fortnight ago I started feeling quite nauseous whenever I eat, as well as much more tired than usual, light-headed, and even throwing up occasionally.
When I went to the doctor he told me that all my liver tests were abnormal, due to the adenovirus. I've had to severely limit the foods I eat and cannot tolerate any fat at all, not the slightest spray of olive oil or a scrape of butter on my toast, without becoming nauseous again. Ginger tea has become my saviour.
I finally managed to get all the pieces for the flag book ready for their first firing and loaded them in the kiln last Friday. I started it up to "candle" overnight, ready to complete the firing on Saturday. I awoke in the early hours of Saturday with a moderate headache, but attempted to continue with the firing. I thought I could just rest and go to the garage every hour to check on the kiln's progress. But by 9am the headache had become a migraine and I was throwing up....I forgot about the kiln for a while, I must confess, but around 10.30 I sent my lovely husband to turn it off. I couldn't walk to the toilet unassisted, so there was no way I could continue with the firing.
I'm not sure what temp the kiln reached before it was switched off, maybe about 500-600 degrees. Yesterday I had a look at the pieces and they definitely had altered in character, but they didn't have that bone dry, almost chalky look of bisque-ware. Today I had another attempt and this time we made it to 1000 deg. Next step....lots of sanding. It's only 8 weeks till assessment so I have to try to push on, but it's very slow at present.