search  current discussion  categories  safety - misc 

failsafe/means it will fail/story

updated thu 23 dec 04


mel jacobson on wed 22 dec 04

just a follow up from an old potter.

get an old wind up alarm clock, with a big

all manual.

set it for the time your kiln should shut off.
go check your kiln.

if it is not done. set the alarm clock for one more hour.
make sure your kiln is off.

same for gas firing.
use an oven timer.
when cone 9 is bending, set the timer for 40 minutes.
carry the timer with you.
RING, RING, CLANG. check your kiln.

do it again.
do it again.
make it a habit.
you will be a very happy potter for 50 years.
yesterday there was a rattle at my studio door.
there stood two very beautiful black boys.
abduli, and his cousin mohammed from california.
7 and 10 years old.
frozen solid in their parkas. my neighbor kid.
-5 F, with a wind.

`mel, i have a dinosaur sculpture that will not
stand up`. there was this wonderful green glazed
little kid sculpture...broken legs. i was very busy on
the wheel trying to get the set of dishes all done.

`ok, ok, we need a sculpture stand, i will make one
for you`....cedar base, some holes, epoxy, set in place
with tape securing everything. they were all eyes...table
saw, sander, glue, tape...all lined up. both boys are very
smart. very. they both do sixth grade math and reading.
they must have eaten 50 m&m's each. (left overs from my

then of course mohammed had not seen pots thrown, and
`what is this for, how do you do this?` two hours later
i got them to the door.
and i said...`well, now wasn't that a good day, who is your
favorite neighbor?` abduli looked at me, hands on hips and said,
`well mel, you know we like sharlene best`.
my face almost cracked in two. man, what milky way candy
does for your image...m&m's just don't make it.
sharlene walks our dog `chutney` in the park across the street
and the kids all walk with her, get to hold the leash, pet
chutney....the perfect golden retriever with kids. of course
sharlene has a pocket full of candy...and talks and talks with
the kids. they do love her.
maybe they will like me best when they begin driving.
need help with their cars...who knows.
hell, being number two is not bad.
merry christimas, and the new year is going to be wonderful.

Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A.
web site:
or try: