Saturday, August 14, 2010
Grandmas and Fans
Automatic kilns are wonderful, extreme summer heat is not so wonderful for firing. The Skutt kiln manual recommends aiming a box fan directly at the controller when firing the kiln, so that's what I do. We got this box fan at Sam's club, it has three speeds and it's been blowing at top speed since this morning.
I also have an oscillating fan placed on top of the washing machine beside the back door to the garage; we got this fan with the house. It moves a bit of air, but really is best in one room or to sit directly in front of.
The oscillating fan reminds me of my grandma. Grandma Ruth would put one of these fans on an outdoor table in summer evenings to stir the air while we ate some of her slow cooked beef brisket in the hot and humid summer heat of Southern Arkansas. When I first saw a fan on an outside table at my grandmas I thought she was crazy trying to cool the outside air. Now I appreciate the wisdom of my grandma's ways.
Grandma never had recipes. I just remember her beef brisket took all day to cook, was wrapped in foil, and had a thick tomato based sauce over the top of it. At one time Grandma had a restaurant in Corpus Christi so I think this recipe might have had a Texas influence.
The best fan of all is this vintage turquoise Emerson Electric fan we brought with us from Arkansas. This fan was in one of the windows of the home we had in Arkansas which didn't have air conditioning. The fan helped make it livable in summer. The fan was designed to be placed in a window. On the sides are sliding metal pieces to fit the window of your choice.
Amazingly this fan is reversible; it either blows air in or the blades turn in the reverse to remove air from inside to the outside. The fan also has a temperature setting. We now have the fan strapped to a ladder in our garage to help move the hot air produced by the kiln out of the garage. This fan was probably made in the late 1950s or early 1960s and still works great. I will never part with this fan. The Emerson fan is an example of one of the wonderful products produced in America with practicality, durability, and longevity in mind. My Skutt kiln is also another example of a well made American product. See the smaller kiln, that one was made in the late 1970s and it still works very well.
Kiln at 1900 degrees, inside garage temperature at 93 degrees and 75 percent humidity. Outside temperature is 92 degrees with heat index of 106. Thank goodness for grandmas and fans, and well-made American products.