So, there was a kiln in front of my house, but now it's gone

I was in college as an (undeclared) art student in the 80s. It took up too much of my time and cost money, and that was just taking one art class per semester in junior college. When you transfer to a university and have to take more art classes, things really get crazy and expensive. I had to drop a few courses. My parents were not happy and said they would stop paying for college if I didn’t switch to something else. And of course you can’t just switch to something else, but they insisted, so I stopped going for about a year and then went back part-time for a while, but nothing really came of that.

And then I decided to go back in school in 2002, as either an education major or an english major with an art minor, cause I already had all these art classes. Only I find out that back in the 80s I had failed a class because I had filed an incomplete while we argued about whether I would accept a B instead of the A I was told I’d get if I did such and such (I did not get such and such done because I wasn’t allowed to use the tool room during class time and I didn’t have any other time to do it). So I finally just said whatever, I earned a B, I’ll take it. Only the B wasn’t officially filed for some reason, and I end up with an F nobody told me about.


Okay, so after about a year of trying to fight this F in painting I give up and pick another class. As far as grades go, it’s better to just repeat the same painting class, but I didn’t want to do that for various reasons, and I got it into my head that as long as I have to take another course I might as well learn something. And so I picked ceramics. And there was a bit of a struggle getting into that class, and I didn’t take to it right away and there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.

But then I started to get the hang of it. And I was kinda sad when the class was over and graduation and all that.


But I officially had a BA in English and was done with school, unless I just wanted to go for fun.

So something bad happened later, and I decided that to feel better I should take another ceramic class at a different school.


I ended up taking four classes at this school. When I started, you could repeat the second class on paper, but really just do your own thing. But by the time I got to the third semester, the policy had changed so that you couldn’t do that. If you took a class, you had to do what the whole class was doing and get a grade and all that. I’d have to find somewhere else to fire stuff for me.

I had found a place for that, and they would fire stuff for me after I took a couple of classes. But again, by the time I was ready to do that it was no longer an option, cause unfortunately the store closed. I did not find another place to fire stuff.

Illustration for article titled So, there was a kiln in front of my house, but now its gone

And then I got it into my head that I should buy a used kiln. I was so happy when I found one I could afford in Texas that I didn’t really think it all through.


So we drive from my home near Dallas to someplace near Austin and get this kiln and put it in my back room. The kiln has no furniture (those are thing like shelves and such inside the kiln, and unless you are just doing one big piece that needs the whole kiln, you need furniture. And I had it in my head that when I wanted to use it I would just wheel it outside. It was really a big hassle getting it into the back room, so maybe wheeling it outside now and then wasn’t a good idea. And then I hadn’t noticed that the 220 plug was not for the 220 outlet I had, but an older one, so I’d need an adapter. Only I went to the store to get an adapter, and found that it wouldn’t work, cause this plug was for something even older than that. So I guess that I need to order a special adapter for the adapter?

Anyway, I couldn’t use it. I started thinking it was a bad idea anyway. So I started looking for a new home for the kiln. But basically no one wanted it, cause I couldn’t tell them if it even worked. I couldn’t even plug it in to test it without finding that adapter.


So it stayed in my back room for a long time, and I stacked boxes on top of it and around it and it just became this thing that I couldn’t deal with. It stayed there several years, cause I’d have to move bookcases and tables and such to get it back out of the house.

About a year ago, I got it out of the house. And I thought that was the hard part, so I stopped worrying about it for a bit. And rather than have something that looks like a piece of junk in front of my house, I tried to make it look like a table. Earlier I had put two chairs I didn’t really want outside, so I thought if got a tablecloth from a dollar store that would look okay. Only the dollar store tablecloth ripped and after trying a couple of things like that I gave up on the whole table idea and put some lattice around it.


Well, lattice doesn’t quite hide the thing. It looks good from the front, but from the sides it doesn’t, and for people like the mailman it is really obvious that I had a piece of junk in front of my house.

But I really couldn’t think what to do next. I had planned to take pictures and maybe someone on Craigslist or eBay would want it. But I think I might have damaged it when we moved it, and still I had never even plugged it in, so I still couldn’t tell if it worked, and no one wants it if I can’t even plug it in just to see if it comes on. I was going to have the same problem again, just with a larger group of people. I think I got as far as having my husband take the pictures, but I don’t think we ran any ads.


So this year the manager is having a fit, and that was one of the things mentioned. And then she said it better be gone in three days.

And it can’t be gone in three days if no one wants the job of taking it away. The idea of paying someone to do that really bothered me, but my husband was okay with it and thought we’d find someone on Craigslist to do it. But no one contacted us to even tell us how much it would cost.


So finally, my husband sad that he would take it somewhere. This bothered me too. I remembered how much trouble it was to get the thing into the van years ago, and how much trouble it was just getting it out of the house last year. I was worried that he’d hurt himself trying to move the thing again. And he starts a new job in a few days, so this would just be the worst time for him to get hurt.

But, he said he’d do it, and we moved the lattice and backed up the minivan. And then we’re having the debate about where to take it. We can go to the office and get a permit to use the landfill. Possibly they would charge us a few dollars, as we had done this before with a couple of old TVs. But I really don’t want to be anywhere near the office right now. My husband thought we should take it to Goodwill or something, maybe just drop it off and run before anyone came out to see what it was, but it just didn’t feel right about doing that since I thought it was damaged, and the charity places don’t need non-working junk.


And then he took some of it apart and said that it wasn’t really that heavy, just difficult to move when it’s all in one piece.

Well, it is isn’t that heavy, probably it could just get taken away with the regular trash. And he thought that would probably work. It would work better if we really broke it into smaller pieces and bagged it like regular trash.


So we took off the metal parts and just started smashing the rest of it.

I don’t know why I had it in my head that this was really heavy. I’ve used these bricks in class. They are very lightweight things that absorb heat. A bunch of them together add up, but if you put a dozen or so in a bag, no big deal. So we put the broken up bricks in five bags and put the bags back behind the lattice, and then this morning we put the bags out with the regular trash, and it all got taken away while we were at lunch.


I’m still a bit sad about the whole thing. But I’ve never been so happy to throw something away.

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