Monday, March 19th

Business is slow.Sigh. Nobody likes the kissing booth! They will lay near it… occasionally even ON it… but nobody hops in and looks cute. What kind of cats are these, that they don’t like sitting in a box?!?! I have defective animals.

Yesterday (this morning?) I stayed up until almost 1 AM.

Long-time readers will know about my neatly wrapped yarn mugs that were included in a knitting magazine late last year. I had found that mold about …. oh, right after Hanks closed the doors but before we closed the online shop, because the first 15 of them I made I brought to the Fiber-In with us, and was surprised that they didn’t sell out. They’ve sold steadily in HaldeCraft since then; not so quickly that I couldn’t keep up with it, though… until Christmas. By Thanksgiving I was sold out. By the first week of December I had custom orders through the end of May. By the second week of December I had custom orders through the end of July. By New Years I had custom orders clear through January of 2013. See, I have one mold. I can pour it once a week (or every four days, if the weather is dry enough to dry out the mold that quickly). Then to bisque and glaze fire it, I also need to make enough that week to justify firing the kiln; so it’s not a quick process and fortunately most people have completely understood, being handcrafters themselves.

So on eBay (where I found the first mold) you can set up search parameters and get a daily email with new listings that match that parameter. I’ve been halfheartedly searching for another yarn cup mold for about a year now; you can really only pour a mold about 200 times before it’s worn down enough that the detail isn’t crisp, and I knew that would eventually happen with this mold. Juanita and I did some research and it turns out Duncan only made this mold for about six months (DM-613, Yarn Mug) in the 80s… and apparently they are right fucking hard to find because I’ve never seen another one. Even Juanita, whose magic knows no bounds, has only the sugar bowl and the teapot that goes with it… not the mug mold.

Oh – so anyway, about six months ago I set up search parameters for Duncan ceramic mug, Duncan ceramic cup, ceramic mold yarn, ceramic mold mug, ceramic mold cup, yarn mug, yarn cup, Duncan yarn… anything I could think of. For six months I’ve been getting daily emails with things that match (if I never see another Duncan mug mold in the shape of a clown face IT WILL BE TOO SOON).

Three days ago, DM-613 popped up. I couldn’t believe it! I looked at my finances, thought about how much I could use another one, thought about how hard it was to find one, thought about how long I’d been looking for one, thought about how I could cut my time down if I had two of them, about how much I would rest easier about the detail on the one I have fading before I get all this custom work out of the way, and put in a top bid of $100 and was willing to go double that if it came down to it. (Please, hold your lectures about how I spend my money or your advice on how to make a mold, thanks.)

For three days I’ve been checking in on the auction, and it was at $5.70. I was pretty sure nobody else would want it for more than $100, but at the same time I thought that if I didn’t stay up and watch it (the auction was over at 12:15 AM, what the fuck?!), and woke up in the morning and was out-bid by a dollar…? I’d lose my shit. And sure enough, with about 20 minutes to go in the auction, someone else started bidding. It shot from $5.70 to $79.35 in the space of a few minutes, and then hovered there. What should I do? Should I up my maximum bid? Keep refreshing? Talk about sweaty palms. I decided right then and there that whatever rush other people feel when bidding at auction, that is not a rush I like! So no worries, folks, I’m not going to turn into one of those auction-addicted people who buy things randomly on eBay just to feel alive. Ugh. It was more like feeling a migraine coming on.

Anyhoooo…. I guess the other person that wanted it, didn’t want it as badly as I did, because I wound up buying it for $79.35. That is the most I’ve spent on a used mold, and if it was anything other than this yarn mug I would never have gone that high. That’s a crazy price. But it’s a price I’m willing to pay to take a lot of stress off my back. And the first one I pour from that will be fired to bisque and then put aside, to make a new mold from.

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