Thanks to everyone for your lovely comments, I greatly value your kind support.
Jessica, my work experience girl and I have been sipping tea from brown mugs today. No need to wash up for weeks, a fresh mug every day! I think it was Mick Casson who said 'brown's a colour too you know'.
Got back into the swing with a couple of new puzzle jugs, I'll work hard and soon catch up.
Even though a lot of those pots didn't make it, I know the decoration was much more confidently executed and I learned a lot about mark-making and composition while I was making them, so the next lot will be better for that experience. As long as I don't turn them brown and glue them to the shelves, I'll have some good ones for Hatfield.
I've still got loads of pots I'm proud of to take to Earth and Fire this weekend, so in spite of yesterday's rubbish, I'm a happy man. There would be stoneware potters who'd be proud of a tenmoku glaze like the one I just achieved and I managed to do it two hundred degrees lower, that can't be bad.
I think it's a real sign of a mature potter (artist) who can take the bad times with the good times. It can't all be good all the time, right? We all do the best we can, and when things go wrong there's nothing to do but learn from it and get on with making more of whatever we do. I think it takes a while to learn that. Maybe potters learn it early, since we tend to have many areas where things can go wrong. After all our craft is one of risk from the moment we put the clay on the wheel all the way through to the firing. It's what makes it exciting. It would certainly be boring if we knew the exact outcome each time. I think it's good that we all share our ups AND our downs. It certainly helps me to know that everyone out there has a hard time now and again too.
As I think I've said in the past, it all suits my manic depressive personality and our work is, if it's honest, a representation of ourselves. I need the lows to get the highs, otherwise it would be all very average. It's a drag at the time, but I know I learned a lot when I was making that stuff and even though I don't have the pots to show for it, it wasn't wasted time. The next lot will be better thrown, better decorated and hopefully better fired.
Mark got some pots out at last. He's got nothing from the last two firings and kept positive, it's always good to have him around, he's a positive man, I've learned a lot about keeping a healthy mind set from him. I know I'd feel very alone without you and all the other bloggers out there. You're my friends and in a strange way my work colleagues too, because we share the pleasures and the pains on a daily basis. Hey, a crap firing makes great blogging news anyway. Hmm, maybe a good one would be better!
What's the worst thing about it? Well I have to maybe work a little harder doing the thing I love to do in order to catch up - that's not so bad really, I could be on a train to Plymouth every day doing something I hate, instead I'll be in my shed playing with mud. Things are going well, clay from the field etc. posh mags, summer shows, friends all over the world, it's all exciting stuff I'd never have dreamed of happening even a couple of years ago. And people are starting to buy my pots with increasing enthusiasm and regularity, this is just a blip, really frustrating and I've been here before and come through it, the future's pretty rosy so I'm keeping a positive headspace. Those tenmoku pots are a rarity, maybe I should sell them as such!
That naughty kiln god decided to give me a visit, he's been to see Alex, Gay and Andrew, it's just my turn. Bolt your kilnroom doors potters, look for little glazy footprints in your battwash, watch out for the mischievious little gremlin!
Thanks again all of you, I'm still smiling :)
Oh my God !!
I've just loaded my kiln for a glaze firing.
hey, nice to find your blog, I am a potter and blogger too, and need to look through here and find out more about you--cheers from New York--Gary
In pottery time, I'm still a toddler but I know that so much time is spent on learning from mistakes. It's a must. How else will we learn what not to do?
Anyhoo, I liked the so-called "mistakes". I also know it's not what you wanted so I feel your pain. But you still managed to get some great pots (I love the green).
Hi Gary, welcome, I'll pop across to yours later when I'm back from the pub. Hey Michele d., how did you get on that Monday? Hope it went well. Paul, keep an eye on the door.
Ouch! I'm glad to see that you got some goods out of the firing. I don't think that there is anything more dispiriting than a bad firing..by the same token there is nothing like a bad firing to stoke the need to make some stunning work. Good to see that you are keeping steady on. Look forward to seeing the next firing. Oh by the way, I especially like the tall jug.
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