after three days of attacking the garden, order has been restored to some extent. the cowslips look much better with the patchy tufty grass cut and the hogweed removed.

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the apple trees and the rowan are flowering too, and there are a few big cow parsleys.

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yesterday I started to tackle the roof arch of my kiln. it has been sagging for a while and needed rebuilding. I took the top off and the insulating clay and perlite that covered the brick arch yesterday – a filthy job. all the metal has rusted, and everything was full of soot from my heavy reduction firings.

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today I had to make a former to support the arch while I took it apart, so hardboard had to be purchased, and then my woodwork skills got tested severely while I worked out how to make a curved former which I could get into place, past the flue which sticks out into the roof.

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a lot of nails and some glue acheived the necessary object, and I was able to dismantle the arch. the bricks had to be numbered before they were taken out, and laid out ready for the rebuild.

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after the side support bricks had come out, the iron bars which support the arch proved not to be bent or weakened at all, so I am at a loss as to why the roof was sagging so much, unless the whole frame of the kiln has expanded. I am going to get slightly longer bars and a friend to help put the bricks back so hopefully it will be a better arch.

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I have made some pots with a little of the orange clay that Antonio at Moreno Leon, the tinajeria in Torrejoncillo, gave me. its great stuff to work with, very tough and pliable. it seems to have a lot of gritty rock in it. I also want to try making a glaze, combining the clay with the encina (ilex oak) ash from my woodburner in Spain.

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I have sprinkled earth from my finca onto the clay and rolled it in.

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but my real job in the next few weeks is to make the rest of the pieces for the Salthouse Church installation.