Kiln gods

With the recent string of small disasters lately, I’ve had some folks ask if I had broken a kiln god. I’m posting a picture to show that the kiln god (and the green kiln dog) are still intact.

For those not familiar with the practice, potters have traditionally made small figures – known as kiln gods – to guard their wares during firing. Usually they are made from scraps of clay. In my case, I couldn’t resist making fun of the traditional pottery world’s view of slipcast earthenware by using the dreaded ceramic, light-up Christmas tree. What’s even better is that it was bought as greenware from the cavernous Treasure Valley Ceramics in Idaho. That means my little tree was probably cast back during the Eisenhower administration. Unfortunately it doesn’t actually light up (though it is hollow and I have asked Alan to rig a battery-operated blinking light on a stand for it). It also doesn’t have fired-on snow, which is really required for the appropriate amount of kitsch. But it has been an effective guard for the last few years. It’s also darned-near impossible to break, which given my recent luck is probably a good thing!

I also thought this site with the winners from the 2009 Kiln God Nationals was fun. The contest was apparently also held in 2004 and 2007. (Sarah, you need the Golden Squirrel!)

All kidding aside, though, I’d like to thank everyone who has extended their well-wishes and prayers to my family. The car is easy enough to replace, and the kids will recover (with a little help from antibiotics) from their assorted infections. Alan’s recovery is going to take a little longer, but he’s already looking better now than he did after the first diagnosis. Hopefully I will be back to work (and blogging) soon.

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