Yesterday was the kind of kiln opening that makes me feel like a talent-less hack, not a real potter, not a real artist, and I should go see if the McDonald’s up the road is hiring. It was also the kind of kiln opening that makes me want to forget my responsibilities for the day and spend the whole day sitting at the wheel, throwing the same two pounds of clay over and over and over and over again until I by god get that shit right.
So, over the last couple of weeks in prep for GLAM, I threw 20 yarn bowls. Four of them never even made it off the wheel (well, one of them did, but not on purpose, and it left a trail of clay a couple of feet long as it traveled). Three of them broke while still greenware; I was touching them up before loading them in the kiln. Two more of them broke but in a creative way that made me think I could still use them as yarn bowls with a really unusual cutout. Four of them didn’t survive the bisque firing as yarn bowls, as the top parts above the yarn guide relaxed so much in the heat of the sauna, I mean kiln, that they slid down in parts and closed the yarn guide. So that left me … thirteen to glaze. Out of those, six of them are downright unusable as yarn bowls – the top part above the cutouts slumped down even more, the fuckers, and the glaze filled in the slim line that was left. Out of the seven that were left, four of them bent a little in the kiln and the clay above the yarn guide (I call it “the potato chip” because of its shape) is either sticking into the yarn bowl or out of the yarn bowl enough that people won’t want to buy them. So out of twenty yarn bowls, I have THREE that I am bringing to GLAM to sell.
If Winston Churchill was right, that “success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm,” I’m so frelling successful that I don’t even know how the rest of you can stand to be around my successfullness because surely I outshine you with my awesomeness. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH whatever.
If you need me today, I’ll be walking around my studio evaluating everything with an eye of “did I mean to pack that for GLAM?” and in the background will be every YouTube video I can find on throwing and cutting and firing yarn bowls.
Edited to add a picture –
From left to right – a broken greenware bowl (the “potato chip”) broke off when I was cleaning a rough spot with a small damp brush; a bisque piece in which the “potato chip” sagged down and is now resting on the bottom of the yarn guide, making it pointless to even glaze; a finished piece in which the “potato chip” had been fine through the bisque firing but it sagged in the glaze firing; and a finished piece in which the yarn guide is totally fine but the “potato chip” pushed itself out a little and now it looks like a curved buck tooth. Sigh. Back to the drawing board…….