More crazing and pitting

More crazing and pitting

And . . . since the underside was fine I’m concluding I missed some dust on the upper surface.

Grist’s 2013 annual report

Grist’s 2013 annual report

Our new annual report, printed by Girlie Press in Seattle. This year it’s about 5×8, a small publication both in terms of size and page count, but really big on color. We’ve been getting reports that it’s an engaging piece. That’s a good thing for an annual report, right?

Ignore my ever-present, go-to background. It’s an old breadboard I keep by my desk, and the only uncluttered surface in easy reach.

Double whammy

Double whammy

That exclamation mark says it all: crackled and bubbled. I read that dust may be a reason for bubbling. This was also the only item on the bottom shelf, in fact it was a light load for the kiln, so maybe overheating? I have one more to fire, and will put that plate on the top shelf. Crossing my fingers that crackling will be the only issue this next time.

Ah . . .

Ah . . .

My last post for today, I promise. I just turned on the kiln, found this plate (built in 2008, glazed a month ago), and one iPhone click later it’s just begging for a cookie. Or . . . it ate a cookie.

The glaze crackled because I couldn’t wait to open the kiln. It will be hard to not to make that mistake again and anyway, it looks great doesn’t it? Crackle and all.

More ceramic plates from a few years ago

More ceramic plates from a few years ago

I found more images in my backup files since posting these. Later tonight I’m firing a couple of the ones pictured above, which I coated in clear glaze on Friday. The greenware plates in that photo were fired a long time ago (2008) but I put them into storage as is and just dug them out this past week.

Below are a few which were illustrated with underglaze and fired once, then stored away. I may just get those out too and go on a clear glaze free-for-all. Or not. . . .

plates_underglaze

One owl, a whole lotta bones

One owl, a whole lotta bones

You can just barely see a bone pattern in the background above. I actually have a few bones I picked out of an owl pellet, back when Hannah was younger and not as squeamish. And for a little while in 2011 I played with arranging them on plates:

Bone plates by Mignon Khargie

Gray Wolf OR-7

Gray Wolf OR-7

A salute to the brief period when the wolf population of California grew to a solid 1.

A pride of ostriches

A pride of ostriches

The ladies look happy, don’t they?

After so many years of being a web nomad, it’s nice to have a home for my drawings again. Yay, WordPress! And big yay for my friend Ilsa Brink who’s patiently fielded all of my coding questions. Thank you, Ilsa!

I still have a few more things to do, mainly with typography and margins (it’s all goo right now), figuring out the left column and whether I want comments there (not pointers to posts, the comments themselves) or something else, getting some more space between posts, etc. Then—and I cannot believe I haven’t already done this—taking a look at it across screen sizes.

Onward.

S-methoprene, Fipronil, and my dog

S-methoprene, Fipronil, and my dog

This past weekend Tom applied Frontline to our dog. Why, I don’t know. The animal lives indoors. He’ll wander outside if it becomes too warm but once he realizes none of us have followed him, panic sets in and he comes looking for his contrary humans.

After the Frontline application, he slept a little more and threw up once, and I decided I needed to know what Frontline was all about.

I’m from the West Indies. Travel to the doctor is a major inconvenience so we tend to do it only when we’re maimed. We rely on a lot more home remedies than we should, and we’re noted for our skepticism of most things medical (I’m not saying this is a good thing, mind you).

Over to the Google, where I am informed that it contains S-methoprene and Fipronil. From the National Pesticide Information Center I find out that S-methoprene acts like an insect hormone, interfering with development from pupae to adults. Insects don’t get to reproduce. The addition of Fipronil means the normal function of their central nervous system is interrupted.

So far so . . . something. This will not target just fleas and ticks.

Methoprene is of moderate toxicity to crustaceans, some fish (rainbow trout), and is highly toxic to other fish and freshwater invertebrates (the EPA fact sheet disputes this). According to Wikipedia (which I just know is manned by West Indians), it may be responsible for killing and stunting the growth of lobsters in Narragansett Bay. Adult bees? Low in toxicity. Bee larvae . . . ?

Fipronil is highly toxic to sea and freshwater fish, and highly toxic to sea and freshwater invertebrates.” It is also toxic to some birds (bobwhite quail and pheasants) but “practically non-toxic to (mallard) ducks.” Honey bees? Sadly, yes. Earthworms? No. Children? “. . . Currently no data showing that children have increased sensitivity specifically to fipronil.”

How is this stuff being used anyway?

Meat, milk, mushrooms, peanuts, rice, and cereals: these are some of the foods in the production of which you’ll find Methoprene. Its use in cattle feed prevents flies from breeding in the manure. “Fipronil is used in a wide variety of pesticide products, including granular products for grass, gel baits, spot-on pet care products, liquid termite control products, and products for agriculture.”

Hmm. Back to the EPA factsheet, where I’m told that Methoprene has been in use for over two decades, and one of the regulatory conclusions is that “the studies available to EPA indicate that the biochemical insect growth regulator Methoprene is of low toxicity and poses very little hazard to people and other non-target species. . . . Based on long-term studies in animals, methoprene is not expected to contribute to the development of cancer.”

The NPIC claims that about three-quarters of S-methoprene and Fipronil is excreted, the rest can be stored in fatty tissue, the liver, kidneys and lungs—eventually being excreted. Because of thyroid tumors in rats fed a high dose, the U.S. EPA has classified Fipronil as “Group C — possible human carcinogen.”

Where to go with all of this?

Well, the pup didn’t respond well to it and I’m working on the husband. Now that I know a little more (granted this is not extensive, thorough research), why take any chances?

I mean, look at that face.

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