5 weeks ago, I sat down and said, "okay, I have 10 weeks until the Des Moines Arts Festival. Let's do this!" Thinking about the long list of things to do in that time, I tried to plan accordingly.
In a fantasy world, I figured I could manage one firing per week if I was a full time potter. This would have included one week to get the kiln set up and fired with just posts and shelves as recommended (and required for waranty purposes) by the manufacturer, and then several bisque firings, a glaze test firing, a couple 'real' glaze firings, and a wood firing in Minnesota at Jorgenson Pottery.
But alas! In reality, I have a day job which translates to just a couple productive days per week. Fortunately, the mantra "all in good time" has been ringing in my ears for more than a year, so I've learned not to get too discouraged with slow progress.
There HAS been progress though! The kiln is firing to bisque as the rain pitter patters outside today. Inside the kiln is a slip casted turtle (our mascot?) from Paintin' Place Ceramics and plenty of test tiles and other goodies to keep it company (did I mention that I'll be working with two new clays since the most local supplier doesn't carry my favorite Standard #266?).
With five weeks to go, the pressure is on! I'll be working less in Des Moines and surely keeping busy in the shop, making as much work as I can, mixing glazes I tested in Virginia, and firing as much as possible--only 8 more to go to get back on schedule as "planned"!