Monday, August 4, 2008

Why pottery is freakin' difficult

I have thrown a lot of pots over the last 18 months. Many hundreds. I am sure it's not nearly as many as people who pot full time or those who have been doing it for longer. In that span I have thrown maybe 20 pots that I really liked. After ruining most of those pots by putting unpredictable glazes on pots I actually liked I started saving the pots I liked until I was happy with my glazes AND I got a spray gun. Finally I thought, finally I can finish these pots, the pots I like. The pots I want on my mantle.

I sprayed three of these really nice pots this past weekend. Two in temmoku with the new super cool rutile wash. One with the iron red with a barnard slip/wood ash glaze. I popped them in the kiln yesterday about noon.

Well there are a lot of moving parts in pottery. A lot of variables. One such variable is the kiln. Our studio has three kilns. All fairly old. All use kiln sitters.

For some reason the kiln didn't shut off. It should have shut off about midnight last night. Instead when someone got to the studio about 4 in the afternoon the kiln was going full tilt. I don't know if the kiln didn't get to temp or if something held the kiln sitter lever, or what. The kiln got shut off and will cool over night (it was hot as hell at 8pm when I showed up) and I will survey the damage tomorrow morning. I expect a complete loss.
And thus I lose 3 more pots. Pots that I liked but by the time I finish the process something goes sideways.

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