Bertha announces her retirement

We are about two weeks into our studio redo and are just about done! I am now writing to you while I am toasty and warm in what used to be a very icy garage space despite the fact that we woke to very cold weather this morning. Don't let the sun in the photo fool you, it's only 34 degrees F out there!

 My desk / shipping station is finally in my studio where it belongs. We used to use a spare bedroom upstairs for our office / packing station. Our house guests would have to deal with P&W boxes when they came to stay. Now it all fits perfectly in its little studio corner and makes my life much easier. 

My desk / shipping station is finally in my studio where it belongs. We used to use a spare bedroom upstairs for our office / packing station. Our house guests would have to deal with P&W boxes when they came to stay. Now it all fits perfectly in its little studio corner and makes my life much easier. 

Sadly, this renovation has turned pretty bitter-sweet for me. half way through the redo, I finally admitted to something that has been haunting me in the background for a long time now. Bertha, my very old kiln has given just about all she can give. We found evidence of irreparable damage on the exterior ( as well as a great deal of internal wear and tear that makes itself constantly known ) as we were insulating the walls last week. We have known it was time for a new kiln for a while now. But, I have become emotionally attached to this big hunk of brick and metal. Maybe it's because she's the first kiln I ever actually had to myself. She has definitely more than paid for herself over the last two years. I found her on craigslist for $75.00. Needless to say, it was a steal. Now, as she creeps up on her final firings in the next few weeks, I feel like I might need to buy her a cake and some party balloons for her well-deserved retirement. 

 Yes, I did waste time photoshopping balloons and a party hat onto my kiln. I told you I have an irrational attachment to this kiln.

Yes, I did waste time photoshopping balloons and a party hat onto my kiln. I told you I have an irrational attachment to this kiln.

Along with the sadness of Bertha's retirement, another feeling has definitely started to creep in. That feeling? Fear. I just put the down payment on a brand new kiln last Friday with the remaining balance due when the kiln ships from the manufacturer. For those of you who have ever purchased your own kiln, you know what a giant investment it is. Something that definitely started as a hobby for me has now turned into a real source of income. That being said, this is the first big ticket "business investment" we have made and now we have to justify how much we  spend on the new kiln.  So I guess were at the "make or break" part of this journey.

But truth be told, we know we have an awesome group of supporters that will make this all worth it. As always, our customers ( who we also like to think of as friends ) make this dream a reality. You guys help us do what we love, and despite any trepidation we may feel from time to time, knowing that there are people out there that love our stuff as much as we do makes it all worth it. The feeling we get when a Soldier receives a pocket heart before leaving to defend and support our country, or the moment someone reads the surprise at the bottom of their "Marry Me?" mug definitely make all the scary parts worth it!