One of the greatest gifts of ceramics work is the unpredictable. I say that with a grimace and sarcastic tone- even though I know it's true.
Because glazes pre-firings don't reflect the post fired colors, for example, my lime green stain is black before firing - which can make it difficult to know how much to apply- glaze game is hard, but full of surprises.
Different glazes in new combinations will create effects that I never would have thought of on my own. Outlier results can change the whole course of my work, as when I started to notice that excessive layering of our studio nutmeg glaze created a lovely 'frosting' effect on my pie plates.
Or when our studio pond scum glaze was on a piece near my vases, and fumed on my work in the kiln, creating striking blushes of pink on my pots.
Some of these results are desirable and re-creatable, some are more complicated.
But this is not a story about those happy times, and when things go wrong, that can be a hard pill to swallow!
stupid cracked bottom
and that bat was so cute...
Today in the kiln unloading I was excited, I had 9 mugs which I had spent 3 hours EACH on decoration alone. But one after the other **ISSUES**.
Glaze got a little too excited...
Glaze dripping onto the shelf, and snapping off the piece leaving sharp glass. Colors running too much and images on the mugs smudged and covered up. I even had a bottom crack off which hardly ever happens.
icing on the cake...
another one bites the dust...
I know this kiln fired a bit too hot. Of course there must also be some factors which I did not completely understand or account for. The next time I make this design, I am hopeful that I will better be able to translate the visual image in my head to clay.
I also sometimes put away pieces where colors were not perfect, and later realize that the piece not meeting all my expectations does not make it completely faulty, just different.
If you are a potter reading this, then I am sure this is a familiar rant. All the same thanks for reading. I feel a little better... I always tell myself, if pottery guarenteed perfect results every time- there would be no learning, and where is the fun in that?
Pottery life lessons...
Patience patience patience
Have no expectations