In the hallway of my parents home was a plaque in German that read something like too soon olde and too late smart. I maybe should have taken heed.
This is the new me sporting a bandana pulled down over my forehead. I have been rather cavalier about facing the firebox for the past 43 years of wood firing. No glasses, no head protection, no respirator when cleaning the kiln and firebox and now I am 70 and there are issues associated with almost a life time of being macho.
I've been going to the dermatologist to get leasons burnt off my forehead. Was it a white boy trying to be brown by sunning himself or a dumb potter getting his face fried stoking a wood kiln. I think it could be the latter since the optomitrist told me I have glass blowers eyes which in other words means I have been looking into hot kilns without protection. I now wear didynium blue glasses, and a bandana. I don't wear leather gloves because they will burn you before they catch on fire. I layer up 2 layers of cheap cotton gloves because when they get to hot they catch on fire and you know enough to dip them in water.
We assembled this past weekend to fire probably the last wood kiln of 2021. It was the second of the year where usually I fire at least 5 times. The pots I have always been most proud of are wood fired. I am now considering putting more work into my gas kiln. The market place loves the work more anyways,the effort and the cost of firing is much less.
We get too soon olde and too late smart.