Thursday, August 23, 2012

Expect Some Losses

When you venture into new territory or use experimental techniques in clay, I guess you have to expect some losses. When I first started working in clay I wanted everything to turn out and was so disappointed with the losses. Now that I have a few years under my belt I realize when I try new techniques and forms I have to expect some losses as part of the process. The strip stacked tower series I'm making have inherent problems. The seams tend to separate. The strips arranged in half circles want to go back to being straight. I may have to use paper tape to hold them together till they dry. I need to fool the clay's memory if I can. Some of the towers may not hold water even after the glaze firing. I may have to start using vinegar on all the seams when I put them together. This first one separated in two sections. It was the first piece I picked out of the bisque load. Thank goodness it didn't fall against another piece and break it too. Sometimes I'm truly amazed at my good luck. I may be able to do something with the two sections on the right. Hum?

All of these made it through the bisque. Lots of precarious handles, birds, tops, and balancing circles. The pencil tower, the tallest one which is about 20 inches tall, will be fired with the top separate since it's too tall to fit in the kiln. Now how to get the glaze into the center of these towers but not get it on the upper portion which I may want to glaze in a different color. Maybe glaze the outside first and then put wax on it, what do you think?

Two rustic woven baskets and two large poppy bowls also made it plus numerous miscellaneous pieces. I've got half the load glazed and will finish up the rest of the glazing today. I have to decide how to glaze the white pieces. Sometimes that's the hard part for me; especially when the forms are ones I haven't made before. Thursday night or Friday day look good to try and squeeze in a glaze load between all the thunderstorms inundating the gulf coast this past week. This post is part of Mud Colony what's happening in the studio. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. But you have to think of all the beautiful things you succeed with *smile*.


  2. You're a determined, clever gal who always finds a way. My eyes always pop when I read how much work goes into these creations. Vinegar? I hadn't a clue vinegar could figure into the equation and feel uplifted at learning new stuff. Thanks!

  3. Thank you so much Linda! you're doing a great job yourself, amazing new works, such wonderful ideas, and an endless imagination.

  4. Even doing tried an true methods we all see loss in pottery. You are brave enough to continue to experiment through the loss.

  5. Hi Elna, thanks, yes I am glad there is more good than bad for sure.

    Hi Kittie, thanks, glad to see you are back from vacation, hope you had a good time. you know clay does take a lot of time, well any art I guess.

    Hi Varda Sharon, thanks, so glad to see you are back to working in your clay, hope you are doing well, been thinking of you.

    Hi Lori, thanks, I guess I can't help myself with the experimentation. Ha.

  6. Hi Linda
    A friend of mine recently commented that potters must be slightly crazed (no pun intended) to keep making through all the losses and strange events that happen in the process...I tend to think, yes, perhaps , but very optimistic!
    What does Tom Waits say in one of his songs.... Luck is when opportunity meets with preparation....
    Yes, that is a good slogan for a potter :) have fun making. Wax on!

  7. Hi Mary, thanks, yes luck meets with preparation, I try to read and prepare, sometimes it works and other's not, but it is all fun for me for sure.

  8. They are fabulous - certainly worth the effort and time. The best ceramics come out of a long process of "fail, fail again, fail better" and finally the serendipity works, and it all falls into place... It always amazes me that the solutions to the problems are often simple and elegant... and why didn't I do that the first time! Well done - I love them.

  9. Hi Ellen, thanks, I like that fail better, I keep trying, and then as you said why didn't I do that the first time. Ha. the dance goes on.


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