Remember I told you that a power surge or strike of lightning came in and zapped three of our four kilns back some months ago? The smallest kiln was burned out completely.
The twin kilns, Shadrack and Meshack (first two kilns I bought for the studio; they are identical) both were hit, but we got Shadrack back earlier in June.
This means that we cannot fire any porcelain until we get a working kiln back. We have Big Bertha, but she takes a day to warm up, a day to cook, and a day to cool down. She is a only an option of last resort.
Tomorrow, Gordon takes Shadrack to the Kiln doctor and picks up Meshack. Hopefully Meshack will settle right in and fire perfectly until we meet the deadline for the pineapple brooches just after the Fourth of July.
This is so typical of normal "complications" we face when we have any deadline. After 16 years in this studio, I am much better at handling what many would call a total disaster, but this has been a learning process.
Oh, my, have I learned the hard way how to keep working the problem. DO NOT GIVE UP is part of my DNA.
That sticktuitiveness actually gets in the way of discerning what God wants me to do in life. Many times He has had to pry my locked, cold fingers off of something (relationship or creative pursuit) before I would stop trying to make it work.
As I share with you the changes underway in this studio, I'll tell you more about the "bumps in the road". Why?
During this ongoing journey of transition, it has helped me to read about others who have struggled and struggled to evolve their business That is what I hope to share on this blog... encouragement, even when the circumstances cry "disaster".
Some good news today: Miss Dollie is back at work after missing work all of last week. She was knocked down by a white van in the Walmart parking lot in Grenada Saturday, June 21, injuring her shoulder.
Miss Dollie is not 100 percent, but she can do the first steps on preparing the raw porcelain for me to finish. Last week, Gordon and I had to step in and do more for Mama and Unc...things Miss Dollie does so faithfully and without complaint.
It did mean we had less time and less energy for the porcelain, but we still made good progress. We Worked the Problem.
We are watching Miss Dollie closely to be sure she does not re-injure her shoulder by trying to do something that her shoulder does not need to do yet. Miss Dollie has taught me so much about faithfulness and loyalty through her example here, and I want to honor her by protecting her from re-injuring her shoulder.
All three drill sites had everything go wrong. If it could break, jam, or malfunction, those guys experienced it. Each delay cost money and threatened to shut down the job.
Through the whole program, I caught myself thinking this phrase, in a mental mantra, Work the Problem. "Yep, Work the Problem, Guys".
It helped seeing others encounter a hard-to-explain cascade of challenges, leaving only the option of Working the Problem.
I feel strong and positive tonight. It is a new week, a new set of challenges and a new set of opportunities to make something good come from this journey.
Time for bed and a little help falling asleep. One has to get plenty of rest during times like this.