Meet Delilah! A while ago, for reasons I won't bore you with here, I decided I wanted to work with fused glass as well as my lampwork glass beads. Initially I was making my bead kiln, a Paragon SC2, work double shifts, beads out when cool, fusing work in, out when cool and make more beads. A little concerned I might do it more harm than good I decided to keep my eyes open for a glass kiln.
And along came Delilah!
Cast your mind back (or ask your Mum) to Tom Jones - and Delilah. He released this in 1966 and, as was a lot of music at the time, full of angst, broken loves, doom and gloom - and in this case murder! Yep, Delilah might have been his woman but she got around a bit and dear old Tom stabbed her, the infidel.
But why Delilah?
Well, Delilah lived in Essex, so the seller and I met halfway to share the journey. Dear Old D looked fine to me, what do I know, I've not had a glass kiln like this before so she was duly slid out of their car and into the back of my Zaffy for a trip to a new life in the West Country.
At this point can I point out Delilah is no light-weight, she weighs 46kg, which I worked out is about 7 stones, only a little lighter than I was when I met my husband 10 years ago. Thankfully Delilah won't develop the same penchant for cake and gain weight like I have.
So we get her home, we huff and puff as we get her bulky frame out of the car and on to a trolley and then push her to her new home. Hubby bravely manages to get her back on her legs, which is more than either of us could do for ourselves, and we called it a day.
Next day I give dear old D a go - she was having none of it. A holiday in the West Country this was not. Is the handle up on the lid they asked me? Have you tried having a another go? Not a hope of Delilah playing ball, so there were many tears and cries of Why? Why? Why? She was pretty dead. Hence the name.
We live in a kiln-repairer no-go zone; after many calls I discovered my nearest is in Newport Wales and he wasn't coming to England until he had to for something else. I can practically wave at Newport from the end of Clevedon pier! But it's what my Scottish husband calls 'Doon the watter' and I am clearly 'abroad'.
I felt powerless to do anything. I flicked the switch for Delilah and again nothing. I cried once more and ask why? why? why Delilah? Tom Jones and the repair man might both be in the Land Of My Fathers (not mine, mine came from Essex, like Delilah - although she first lived in the shop up the road from me in Wrington), but this is not helping me.
I had to do something.
So, I did what all women without a clue do, I get out a wrench and screw driver. If all else fails, batter something. My husband was keeping out of the way, for some reason.
I open the gubbins box on the front and tighten screws, I did it up again (granted one of these screws were lose), I checked the handle is up - there's a safety catch on this handle apparently, and it is, but it is a bit ... floppy ... although the nuts are tight. Is this what it's meant to be like? How do I know. Well, I had to do something. So I wield my trusty wrench and get the nuts off, then put them on again but this time to make the handle more 'positive'.
I flicked the switch one more time in desperation and ........... she works! Clearly Delilah is my kind of kiln, we both have a screw loose. I think the shake, rattle and roll of the M25M4/M5 was just a rattle too much for her. She's not keen on heavy rock and roll either then?
Delilah is a fat little heavyweight and she takes up a lot of room. With Arts Week in May she will have to hide somewhere or there will be no room for visitors. But move 7 stones of lumpiness every few days I cannot. What is a woman without wheels? - so Delilah now has a friend, Dolly.
No, not a trolley dolly, a dolly is a handle-less trolley! But I'm still expecting that Trolley Dolly to hot foot it over here and sort out my Virgin Media account problems (should have moved to BT!) or he can send his side kick Tennant - he's in the town filming Broadchurch a lot of the time and only just up the road, hardly out of his way. I digress.
So, Dolly is a girl with an impressive set of wheels. I spent a lot of time talking to the lovely Mark at Atlas Online Emporium on Ebay and we settled on these being the best because they will skim over anything, including husband's feet and my lumpy studio floor. Not the cheapest, but if it's good enough for flight cases (here we go, back to the trolley dolly again) then it's good enough for my Dolly trolley. The kitchen worktop came courtesy of Freecycle, waste not, want not, and the confusion in Homebase this morning was nothing to do with me. Oh, OK it was. I still don't know what I said to make 2 men blush?! I was only buying screws and round things with holes in - the supervisor was the one shoving the screw through the hole thing! Only a mucky mind would make something of it. Having screwed the wheels to the worktop, I could have done with a bigger screw and a bigger washer - I wasn't about to go back and explain that!!
So, what am I going to do with all this new kit? Just a few things so far. I have made a few more sun catchers, or as the winter version is known, light catchers - these are already in my Etsy shop and kept me on my toes before Christmas when they kept selling out at fairs.
Then I have made a few pendants using iridescent and dichroic glass - they've yet to make it anywhere, you've seen it here first.... (but they'll be in my Etsy shop shortly)
and I had a few small pieces of glass so have made some small dishes, perfect for candles or rings and things - again, when I have some better photos they will make it to Etsy.
Keep reading, there will be new things as I get the hang of it all.