Monday, March 24, 2008


i just read the previous post and it sounded a bit too chipper for that particular unloading.

sunday was a pretty awful day. i think that every potter can appreciate the feeling of losing pots in a kiln. but with wood firing....i don't know, it just seems to sting so much deeper. the hours and hours of labor that go into a single firing, its not just flipping a switch or turning a gas valve.
unloading that kiln was a downer. i just can't adequately explain the feeling, working so hard to bring these pieces into existence...i had a bit of a temper tantrum while unloading. the first couple of bad pieces emerged and i just scowled but after that i couldn't contain it and began throwing them across the barn and turning the air blue. all i needed to see was a crack or a flake of slip and that baby was gone.

of course i knew what i was getting myself into, trying to make a living this way is not for the faint of heart. and i should be greatful that i've had three firings that have all reached temperature and some great pots out of all of them. i kept myself busy today to clear my mind and went out late this afternoon to really have a good look at what came out of the kiln. i was so pleased to see today what i didn't see yesterday. i was so blinded with frustration that i couldn't appreciate the good things that happened to even the bad pots. i tried some new things and fired the kiln in a slightly different way and what happened was fantastic! i spent a good amount of time looking through shards trying to remember where those pots were in the kiln so i can try to recreate some of the magic. its amazing how energized i feel now, ready to get back in the studio and get some more pots out. every firing is a learning experience, and i need to remember that.

but please kiln gods, not the teapots anymore, okay?

1 comment:

Ron said...

Hey Brandon, You have great forms, once you get this surface/slip/cracking thing worked out you'll be well on your way. I've not had the peeling problem except when I tried slipping bisque ware. That jar has some beautiful surface on it from the atmosphere. I have had some crappy firings in my salt kiln that totally brought me down, most of the time it was surface issues, scum, funky slip, too much salt, even though I'm not firing with wood I can totally feel your pain. ( I just have less physical labor involved) Anyhow good to hear you're ready to get back at it. I've been meaning to ask you if you'd like to work out a trade sometime. Let me know, I'd love to have something of yours.