I haven't been worth a plug nickel the last 2 days! I either caught a bug when we were out of town for my father-in-law's 80th birthday, or I got a sinus infection from the dust I've been exposed to while building the kiln. I have been wearing a mask while grinding and cutting bricks (for the most part) but it's just a dirty, dusty job. I'll be glad when that part of it's over with!!
During my recuperation (when not napping or blowing my nose) I've joined a couple of discussion groups for potters who salt and/or soda fire. It looks like there are several other people "out there" in cyber land, who, like me, are at various stages of building a salt or soda kiln. It's interesting to read about their similar trials and learn some alternative solutions. It's encouraging to know that others are experiencing the same frustrations as I am, but keep plugging away at it. I don't think I've come across a scenario yet where someone claims their kiln went up without a few obstacles and problems that had to be worked out. I think if I did read about a kiln-building project without any problems, I'd have a little trouble believing it, unless that person builds kilns for a living!! For most potters, kiln building seems to be an activity that is only participated in every few years. And it probably happens this way for a reason. I'm thinking it's for the same reason that family's space their children a few years apart - you need that time in between so you don't recall how intense the "labor" actually was!!
I only hope that firing this kiln will be half as rewarding as being a mom is, and I hope my kiln turns out half as good as my kids have so far! I used a lot of trial and error in raising them, and somehow they survived, so that gives me yet more encouragement about my kiln building venture!! Although I'm not sure if kilns (and the pots we fire in them) are quite as resiliant as kids!!