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Ground Breaking

Reuse, recycle, reduce. We hear these ideas all the time and I tend to think they are good ones. It comes in especially great when someone gives me an old kiln.  That is exactly what happened when the electric kiln that we used for cone 6 glaze firing gave up the ghost at Callanwolde. It’s a good size kiln, much bigger than my electric kiln but I’m not interested in rewiring this one. You may remember I did that with my electric kiln when I installed the kiln sitter (you can read about that here) which I got from another free kiln.

My plan for this kiln is to make it a reduction kiln since that is the look I like best for my pots. I am even considering adding a stoke hole so I can feed some small piece of wood into the kiln for some ash and wood effects.

Before I can start converting it into a gas kiln I need to build a kiln shed. My current kiln room is fine for the electric kiln but it’s too crowded to add flame to the mix. I’m designing a simple lean-to type shed that will have a m…

Stretching Your Hands

No matter what you do for a living or a hobby your hands can be your most valuable tool.  For those of us who use our hands all day, everyday for work it becomes stressful on them. We potters push and pull clay while we are throwing. We push, carve, cut and paint our clay to decorate it. It’s a lot of stress. Then in our spare time we play musical instruments, dig and pull weeds in the garden, and grab onto the dog leash for a healthy walk. Even if you’re not a potter you may participate in many activities that use your hands all day, like typing on a computer key board.

It’s important to take care of our hands. Most people would not perform exercises like running or biking without doing some stretches also, but for some reason stretching our hands isn’t emphasized as much as leg stretches. The thing is, if you’ve ever felt the pain of carpal tunnel syndrome you know how important it is to take care of your hands.

The first time I felt with carpal tunnel pain was after driving through the Pocono Mountains with a poorly loaded trailer when I was in my twenties. Whenever I went down hill the trailer would start to sway behind me, it even pulled the truck a bit so naturally I held on for dear life. I didn’t realize the problem was too much weight in the back of the trailer so I was unable to fix it, I just gripped the steering wheel until I got to flatter land. Two days later I couldn’t move my fingers and it felt like someone had driven a spike through my palm.

My hand got better by applying ice and taking aspirin but that experience left an impression on me so I started researching thing I could do to keep my hands healthy (and my trailer properly loaded).  I talked to Yoga instructors, chiropractors, and musicians and they all pretty much recommend the stretches that I demonstrate in this video. However, it would be a really good idea if you talked to your healthcare professional about doing these stretches before you start doing them. Your health situation may be unique so it’s a good idea to check with someone who has studied medicine first and, of course, if you experience any pain or discomfort.



Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery by Lori Buff

Comments

  1. ITs so weird sometimes how us bloggers seem to be on the same wavelength, posts of similar thoughts on the same day. I just wrote a post about my aches and pains and then went to read my favorite blogs, and here you are on a similar topic.
    Guess we are all feeling some aches and pains, haha! Stretching muscles is even more important as those muscles age like mine!

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    1. Right Tracey. I do seem to be spending a lot more time trying to stretch out my stiff joints.

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  2. I've never thought about stretching my hands. I stretched mine along with you in the video and they really do feel much more limber now.
    Very cool. Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Your welcome Cindy, I’m glad it helped.

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  3. I never would have thought of stretching my hands but I plan to start; I'll also have Gary watch your video because he has arthritis in his thumbs and it might help him as well. Our neighbor recently told Gary that he drinks tart cherry juice by Knudsen and it helps his arthritis and pain and Gary started drinking that. Every little bit we can do helps as we age that's for sure.

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    1. I hope it helps both of you Linda.

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  4. Replies
    1. Right!? It makes you wonder. Of course it’s not too hard to take precautions and take care of ourselves.

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