Chariot of The Pharaoh
Say hello to my newest networking creation, Chariot of The Pharaoh. The inspiration for this (off the wall creation) came to me about 2 am one morning, I couldn't sleep and was flipping through channels. I came across a documentary on PBS titled - go figure - Building Pharaoh's Chariot. I thought something mundane would make me go to sleep but as it turns out, as it often does, I watched every second of it. Throughout the entire documentary I kept asking myself, "I wonder what this would like in glass?", and "I wonder if I can make one?"
When I set out to do something, there are one or two possible conclusions. Like most people, I assume, it worked great or what was I thinking? I could throw in a third outcome, I tried it and it somewhat worked but I don't really like it...lol. This happens to me all the time, I am usually right on the border of what was I thinking! So anyway, as I set off on my Chariot excursion, my mindset was pretty much this is going to be an utter disaster! I have never made an actual circle in glass, my first try about 7 months ago, quickly had me making something else...lol it was horrible, bumps and bends everywhere, not the ideal circle. This time I worked slow and steady to make the wheels. Were they perfect, not by any means, but they were round so I was happy. I then added the spokes, and decided to dress them up a bit with red flames in the center and yellow/gold decorations around the hub.
Moving on to the actual body I knew what shapes I needed, because I did watch every second of the documentary, I worked the curves of the frame into shape, assembled the hitching tongue and axle. Now I had all my pieces to assemble, my mind went blank! UGH, so the pieces set for about 2-3 days until I felt brave enough to try the assembling process. I just knew it wasn't going to end well. First I welded together the frame, took a few deep breaths, and proceeded to attach the axle. So far so good! Next item to add, the hitching tongue and then it began, crack, crack, crack........ Back to the drawing board. No, I told myself, I am not going to give up and walk away. I started healing the spots that were cracking, as soon as I finished that I put the piece in the kiln to anneal it!! It needed to heat up, hold and cool down slowly, I knew that I was trying to do too much at once. Patience is not a strong suit of mine...lol. The next evening I pulled it out of the kiln and set back to work filling in the bottom and sides. Once I was finished, I stepped back and had myself a look. Oh pooh, I forgot the hookup bar on the top of the tongue, ugh, ugh, ugh! I knew I wouldn't be able to hold the torch in one hand, and the bar in the other, while supporting the tongue all at the same time. I knew if I didn't support the tongue somehow it would all droop, so I stacked up my kiln furniture for support and carefully added the hookup bar. At this point I knew something was just going to go wrong so off to the kiln to anneal again. The next evening, holding my breath, I opened the kiln and found everything was still intact.....yippee!
Now for the nerve racking moments, adding the wheels!! EEEEK! I admit it. I was scared. I went back and forth with the torch in hand. Here we go, no, no, back up, not ready, that won’t work, and repeat a few times before I actually took the plunge. Very, very slowly I began to heat up the end of the axle, and the nub I left on the inside of the wheel. Once again very, very slowly I moved them together and made sure every point and angle was fused. With my handy lazy-Susan, turned the table around and repeated the above steps. WHEW, all attached! Now, should I risk it and add some décor or not? Obviously the dogs weren’t going to answer me so, I answered myself. What the heck, if you are going to do it, do it in style….lol? The last touches were added and it happily went back into the kiln for the final annealing cycle. I have to say I am happy with the results. I also know it will probably just sit on the shelf, but I am ok with that. Once again you never know when inspiration will strike, but when it does – go with it!