Remember earlier this year when I realized I could get an assistant to all the boring work of recycling clay and cleaning the studio? And then remember how I got a studio assistant and it was great? I still have an assistant and it's still pretty great. She's been working throughout the summer, and though I haven't talked about her here, she has allowed me to focus on my work instead of devoting 3-4 hours a week to cleaning and recycling clay.
|This is how I work: all the tools, all the trimmings, all the bike parts and all the sprigs shoved together on the table behind the piece I'm building.|
My assistant has, as originally expected, recycled clay for me. Somehow this job never seems to diminish. How do I have so many stashes of dry or sorta dry clay? I think she might get it all done by September. Anyway, she has also vacuumed, cleaned underglaze brushes and tools and adjusted my storage shelves so I have actual room to work.
|Ooh, look, a shelf for bisque-ware!|
More recently, she's started helping clean my bike parts. In the first year of my bike project, SRAM sent me a box of 100 bike parts. Each part was individually packaged, clean and separated from all the other pieces. Interestingly there were four of every part and quite a range of colors.
|Look at all the clean, colorful and duplicated bike parts from SRAM.|
|Clean, shiny gears. They seems to look cleaner when someone else does the work.|
|Safety first: always wear work gloves when holding sharp objects up against fast spinning machines.|
Of course the grinder in the garage isn't great for winter weather either. Last December I was cleaning chains using the grinder. I wrapped the chains around a gear so that the teeth held the chain in place against the brush. I could hold the gear and the back end of the chain a safe way aways from the sharp, painful bristles. It worked well except that the garage was frigid. With the grinder blowing more cold air at me, I lost feeling in my fingertips even though I was wearing gloves. Alas, suffering for art.