Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sausages and Sunshine


Laying arch brick

Percussive flare ups of small sausages in the cooker greeted me this morning as I stepped into the kitchen. A fine morning.
"Tis warm this morning," Mary's Mom says.
Indeed, it got up to nearly 80 yesterday and today should be warmer. Mary and I are going for a massage and then heading to Kilkenny to pack our rental car with 300-plus insulating fire brick. We found a great source for new brick - an old brick manufacturing plant that went out of business. I wrote about it in my last post.
The kiln has come along quickly in last few days, after an extended period of working willy nilly, according to the schedules of the family friends and who are helping out with welding and whatnot, and the availability of brick saws in working order. I have a great kiln shed. It's actually great weather for working beneath it, especially in the morning. Prior to the roof, I had to stop working for the rainy spells.
Ireland's weather is always changing. Wear a sweater in the shade, step out into the sun and take it off. Put it back on when the clouds shade the sun. This week it's sunshine for a week, followed by more sunshine, something that hasn't been experienced here for 20 years.
The smell of freshly cut hay mixed with occasional whiffs of burnt diesel from the tractors mowing, turning and bailing. Sunscreen on the nephews. Sweaty pale and freckled foreheads at the kitchen table. We take a lot of tea breaks....
It's been a challenge to create this kiln with brick and block taken from different sources. The base of the kiln now rests on large refractory block - five inches thick, nine inches wide and 12 inches long. There's a taper on the end of the block and it's makes for an interesting look. I like it. The six-inch wide secondhand arch brick I purchased last year from a ceramic supplier in Cork worked out great.
I keep hoping to finish the kiln in time to fire it before we leave, but with three weeks left, the chances of that happening look dimmer and dimmer. But it doesn't stop me from striving for that goal.
Kiln shed and kiln next to old barn
Fox eyes a magpie in freshly cut hay on the farm