Yesterday, I made what I call my bamboo pitcher. I used a 6.5 inch diameter piece of PVC pipe as a brace to hold up the sides till it hardened up a bit, which I thought was a 5.5 inch diameter piece of PVC pipe. As the teacher and students got to the class they said the vessel looked too large to function as a pitcher. I had picked the PVC pipe up out of a debris pile in our back yard thinking it was less than 6 inches in diameter and would shrink to less than that and be the right size after it was fired.
After I had the pitcher built I, too, noticed and had to agree, the pitcher was much larger than I expected. Rather than crumple the piece and start over I decided to use it as a plant holder. It's kind of comical really, this pitcher is 6.5 inches in diameter and about the same in height. It would weigh so much if it had liquid in it that the handle would surely pull off, don't you think? Well I'm not perfect, but I try.
So today I went to the studio with the intention of making another pitcher. I had the design all worked out on paper. This pitcher was going to be taller, more slender, just the right size, with just the right size handle, and everyone who saw it would agree it was just the perfect pitcher. I wasn't going to let the disappointment of yesterday's pitcher deter me from success. Oh, no!
Let me preface my arrival at the studio today with... Last week you may recall I made six matching tumblers. I dried them slowly and have been checking on them every day to be sure the drying was going along fine. Last night they seemed almost dry but the bottoms were still slightly damp. I didn't want to risk the bottoms pulling away or separating from the tops. So I decided to finally remove them from the bat last night and place them on the drying shelves (which are open on the bottom) but still keep the tops covered. So that's what I did. Here they are drying nicely.
Last night when I put my bamboo pitcher on the shelf I noticed the door was open to the studio and there was a pretty good breeze coming in right near the drying shelves (not the best designed ceramics studio) but didn't think anything about it. Today when I got to the studio, I uncovered the tumblers to find that five of the tumblers had large cracks up the sides, some on the seam but most on the opposite side of the seam, the side facing the breeze and doorway. Only one tumbler was intact - the one closest to the wall and furthest from the breeze coming from the door. What a great disappointment and loss. One of my toothpick holders also cracked opposite the seam.
I was so devastated at all the time and effort I had lost today, especially since I had dried the tumblers for over a week very slowly, I decided to leave without making anything today. I decided to construct my 'perfect' pitcher tomorrow. Several other things happened today before all this devastation at the studio, so the disappointment just got to be too much on top of everything else. I won't bore you with those details.
Oh, I almost forgot. On a more positive note, I love going to the beach and collecting driftwood and have amassed quite a bunch over the years which I keep saying I'll use some day. So the other day I decided to make a cylinder with a handle where I could place a piece of driftwood through as the portion to carry the cylinder with. Here's the cylinder drying with the side handles with holes in them ready to accept the driftwood after the piece is fired. This one hasn't cracked yet. It did show some signs of stress as it was on the same shelf, but I quickly moved it to a bat to another location and covered it well. Hopefully this one will survive.
Till next time.