I am working hard to get some glass pieces done for a few holiday sales and auctions. As I spend more time over the kiln, I have created more than a few flubs. I have some things to learn or maybe relearn after a summer hiatus. First, is to pay attention when pushing the temperature cycle. There are two ways to get the glass to come to a “full fuse” which means that all the pieces meld into one. I raise the temperature up to 1500 and leave it soak for a few minutes, or I let it go quickly to 1550 and immediately turn it off. It’s hard to regulate the temperature. Several times, the glass has rushed up to 1700 degrees and overheated resulting in a mess. One time, the glass got bubbles in it which exploded leaving holes in the glass and shards in my kiln. The second problem is to make sure that I don’t break any rules. I forgot that it is best not to put a thick glass on top of a thin one. I put a thin circle of white glass under a thick circle of black glass thinking it would create contrast, but the fused piece shattered because the thin glass could not support the thick one. I also get distracted from what is most important. I try not to run a kiln with only one piece in it. Instead, I fill up the area around it with small squares of glass to make cabochons, gemlike pieces of glass. A quality of glass is that when it is heated to over 1500 degrees, it will naturally go into a round shape. The cabochons are made from scrap glass and are used as embellishments. Sometimes, I keep my eyes on the development of the cabochons and forget to watch the most important piece, the large one that I spent so much time and glass creating. When I do, it never fails that I get a handful of great cabochons, but ruin the thing I most prized. But, I am learning that all is not lost when a creation doesn’t turn out as I have planned. No one will ever know that I didn’t intend to make that horse plate full of holes! I just hope no one asks me how I did it because I don’t think I can ever replicate it! Even failure is not a bad thing when it comes to glass but when it comes to relationships that is another matter. I make many of the same mistakes in my family. I get focused on the stuff that isn’t important, clean house, buying things, perfectly prepared meals or fun events, when of most importance is strong, loving bonds between my husband, myself and my children. Someday, I hope to get it right. Maybe when I am a grandmother. I just hope my grandchildren love glasswork. There will be a bunch of messed up pieces to pass on to them.