Tuesday, December 15, 2009

When Things Go Bad, Turkey Sandwich and a Pickle

If you have spent any sort of time working with ceramics, you know that bad things happen.
If you are fairly new to ceramics, they happen quite frequently.
If you are experienced, then you learn to plan ahead.
If you are like me, clawing your way through a wet paper bag in the dark, then you don't. Plan ahead that is.
I used to have a Quality Control hammer around here somewhere. I'll get back to this later.
When I first began my ceramic journey, I saved almost everything. As my skills and my knowledge of glazes and kiln firing increased, so did my critical eye.
Back then, if I got three nice pots out of ten, I was happy. The three I kept, the rest got the hammer. I knew that nothing ever comes out like you planned, and if it did, you were either very lucky or very skilled.
Well, I worked my up to the point where my average was seven out of ten. This was good. Not too many pieces were meeting the hammer on the way to the dumpster.
One thing you learn is that if you are working on a project, you always make more than one, for if something bad happens, you have another piece ready to go.
This is important if you are on a deadline.
Well, I was kinda sorta on a deadline and this happened:

Glazes are like people: not all of them get along together.
The lettering I did was a complete failure. I got a really nice pencil cup to remind me what glazes not to use together in the future.
So, Mr. Ceramic Arteest, what to do?
Make one more:

I'm going to break all kinds of cardinal rules of ceramics to get that one out as it is in the kiln as I type. To get it out tomorrow morning, I'm going to fast cool the kiln.
Don't try this at home, I am a professional, don't ya know.
Anyways, some stuff came out okay:

I spent way to much time on that yellow mug:

So much time in fact, I have declared low fire glazes to be officially evil. The amount of time and work it takes to finish one of these things borders on ridiculous. More on that later.
Oh, and I said I'd get back to the Quality Control hammer. I couldn't find it in the mess that I call a garage.
So instead, here is the above promised Turkey Sandwich and a Pickle:


dogimo said...

Time well-spent on that yellow one - that's one fun mug!

limom said...

Thank you. I went a little OCD on that one. If the colors remain stable in firing, I want to try some pointillism or stippling.