I’ve been and gone and done it. Ordered a kiln, that is. It’s the final admission that it’s time to have a break from pet rats for a while to pursue a hobby that lets me have time off. My Rohde Ecotop 60S is on its way from Germany and we’ve spent the weekend so far making a space for it in the garage. It feels like a big investment, but it’s less than a year’s vet bills for 60 rats when I was breeding rats in earnest.
I just want to say, 60 rats sounds like a lot, but that can include two litters of 10 to 12 babies each and 30 to 40 resident ratties. As I have never re-homed my ex breeders (because they are my pets as well) and also as there are always rats who have been homed out but come back again due to changed circumstances, I found it very difficult to breed selectively with fewer than that. I’ve been up to a maximum of nine cages including nursery cages, which took me four or five hours an evening at half an hour’s freerange each. Urgh. Currently I only have three cages and 18 ratties, which takes me just over an hour and a half and leaves more time in the evening for visiting my mum and for pottery.
So, back to kilns. This one is economical to fire and will run on the current electricity supply to the garage, with two cubic feet of space inside for pots and kiln furniture. Two cubic feet means far more to me than 60 litres, but I have several 35 litre Really Useful Boxes, so envisaging just less than two of those also makes sense to me. We British have such a split personality with regard to metric and Imperial measures. (Does Metric need a capital letter, anyone?)
With a kiln on the way it’s time to start thinking glazes. I’ve ordered a selection because I honestly don’t know what I want to do, so there is much experimentation to come. I don’t know if the colour-blind thing is going to cause problems. Presumably I can find some combinations that look OK to both me and my husband and/or daughter and go with that. No good asking my son, he’s as colour-blind as I am.