Monday, February 8, 2010

TheTorch and the Torched

My Mom dropped by the other day:
Mom: "I saw the schedule for the Olympic Torch Relay and it's going down your road on Tuesday at 5:30.

Me: "Right past my house? So we're going to have crowds of people standing in our driveway watching it? Hmmm, it's not something I'd normally go out of my way to see but if it's going to be literally on our doorstep I guess that means we should have a little Torch Relay Party on Tuesday."

"Yes, I think you should. I've already told my Tuesday bridge group that we could all come here straight from bridge."

"So. You came over to tell me you've already started inviting people to the party you hadn't yet told me I'm having."
Why am I not surprised?

Later that day a neighbour came by to invite us to the "Torch Relay Block Party" their townhouse complex is having. I told her their party had just expanded it's boundaries since I'm (apparently) having one too.

While I've never believed that hosting the Olympics is a good thing for Vancouver & BC, even before those American bankers broke the economy, it is hard to resist getting caught up in the excitement.
Especially when even a trip to the grocery store becomes an Olympic event. At the checkout to one side was an "Official Timekeeper" while on our other side was a group of Russians in matching grey warm-up suits. I wonder if it's Olympic regulations that everyone involved has to have a large label across their back letting everyone know where they're from or what their job is?

In honour of the Torch Relay I'll show you some things I 'torched' myself.
Sad isn't it?
This lumpy black cratered specimen WAS a very pretty turquoise, lacy-patterned pin.
I really liked it.
Enough that I wanted to wear it, so I put a pin-back on it right away and popped it back in the oven with some other things.....

Oh, dear. These were such a lovely purple, cream & gold.
I covered some of the tea containers that hold my tools in my studio with some nice-looking sheets of scrap clay.
Not so nice-looking now.
They actually look much better in the photos than in real life because the harsh lighting shows up the pattern that in normal light just looks dark, sooty and charred.

I've never done this before. Of the hundreds of pieces I've cured, (thousands if you count my beads) I've had a few come out slightly scorched before but never pushed the polymer clay to the extreme, to this bubbling, charred, lumpy, stinking, lava-like mess.
Thank goodness I have a good range hood fan. In fact it's so powerful that the salesman wouldn't even sell it to me until I'd assured him that we had a make-up vent (A what? Oh, is that what that vent in the pantry is for that we couldn't figure out what on earth the ducting guy was thinking when he installed a vent in the pantry?) so that when the fan is running it doesn't create a vaccuum in the house that could cause the entire house to implode.

To be honest, this oven disaster could have been worse.
I mean I've been using naked tea containers for years so do you think I'm going to care that instead of saying "Tetley Earl Grey" my tool canisters now say "volcanic eruption"?
And my lovely heart pin? At least it was only one, not that whole week's worth of work I baked the day before. Besides, I'm wearing the blackened pin now - on my black sweater. Very subtle.
I kind of like it, even though it's nothing like what I intended. You must be flexible about these things. (or you WILL lose your mind).

It's now my "un-Valentine heart".

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