Looks like I got a bit too cavalier in my firing efforts .......

Not 100% loss, but pretty darn close.  I did manage to salvage some of the rubies.  This is what's left after a second firing with fine silver pmc inlays (the white stuff).  First thing to note, I had tumbled all these pieces before re-firing, but I didn't really check them to make sure they were fully sintered.  Funny how pieces can go through the tumbler for hours, come out looking just fine, but when you give them a good squoze ...... pfffftt - they break right in two or three or four. 

What I should have done was really check them before re-firing.  My successful test pieces were definitely fully sintered, these I just don't know.  Like I was saying, I got a bit cavalier.

The last few days weren't a total loss.  While the steel components were firing, I had an urge to make a chain link necklace.  Okay, so at one point I did get distracted and thought I had quenched a piece of 14gu silver, picked up the screaming hot piece with my right thumb and index finger (I'm right handed), dropped screaming hot piece onto the carpet, melting the bit where it landed, managed to pry it up with tweezers and chuck it into water where it was still hot enough to sizzle a bit.  Then, checking out my poor fingers ... looked like I'd branded the skin, ran under cold water for a bit then slathered the burns with lavender oil and popped a couple of ibuprofen.  I don't burn myself very often but, as burns go, these were pretty interesting ... no blisters, just a couple of fried indentations.  By the end of the evening and repeated lavender rubs, there was virtually no pain - only if hot water hit the burns.  That was on Saturday and today, I can feel but barely see the wire brands in my fingertips ... amazing. 

After all that, I do like the chain.  I call it the "intuition chain."  I had no plan making it.  I just kept cutting 14gu wire and putting it together until it felt done

Today, well, I don't know about today.  I've got a few more steel pieces ready to fire, the remaining ruby and pmc pieces are in the tumbler with the intuition chain and I have a handful of steel components that did sinter and are ready to go into the abrasive shot.  Needless to say, I'll be a bit more mindful about firing from here on out ... focus and not try to do three things at once. 

The last couple of days ... it's been a bit tiresome.  Sails full and feeling exuberant, sails flat and feeling thwarted.  Now comes Monday and I'm trying to find some motivation and direction.  Not sure what to do, what to work on.  My body is telling me to get off the computer and give my shoulders and wrists a break. 

I don't know ... rethinking, regrouping, reevaluating. 
Deep breaths ........

l i g a - kvk

p.s.  if you like gentle ambient, electronica blended with acoustic music ... check out General Fuzz.  He's got a slew of albums free for the downloading and only asks for a contribution.  Really great background for working.