Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Liver problems, an aborted bisque and then success!

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.


  1. Gosh Amanda, I'm so sorry to hear that you been so unwell, I do hope that you recover soon.

  2. So sorry you've been having such a rough time --- and at such a busy time too. Have you investigated Milk Thistle to support your recovery -- may be worth investigating.

    There’s an award waiting for you at


  3. Oh Amanda, I do hope you're feeling better soon and that your firing goes okay. I've got shingles so I'm not exactly happy either, and at the same time I'm packing up my flat to sell up. It's chaotic, boxes everywhere and me feeling less than enthusiastic about it all. But I'm okay and feeling better by the day, so I hope the same applies to you soon.

  4. Hi Carol,
    Thanks for your comment and kind wishes. Shingles! How horrible - I understand they are incredibly painful. I hope they settle down soon - these things always seem to come upon us just when we have a million things to do. I hope you can manage to enjoy the anticipation of the new direction in your life - and make sure you don't trip over any of those boxes you are packing. Warm wishes.

  5. Amanda
    I hope you are feeling better BY NOW ?? Illness is such a 'pain in the butt' and pain usurps your desire to be getting on with things. Grrrr it just is so annoying. I am fed up, myself, with the pain but still trying to push on with things. Need to select/ prepare two lots of framed pieces to go into 2 local (ish) exhibitions and still working on my mini print for the 7th International Mini Print being organised by the PMC this year. Deadline 1st Now., for those interested.

    Best wishes for the continued successful resolution of your ceramic flag book.......I have faith that you will have it all come together for you in the end.