Friday, February 21, 2014

And, just like that

 another week flies past me. I can not tell you where time goes these days. It is stealing away in large chunks, like melting ice caps.

We unloaded the kiln, packed and shipped off orders. Slipped back and forth waiting for all the ice and snow to melt. Then the mud. The never ending mud that is following all the ice and snow. We like to top that off with some rain. Yes, we love a good slide.

After packing and shipping Mark was on the wheel to get ready to fire the small gas kiln. Do you remember Ms. B? The evil small gas kiln that we built and fired. She gave us a good fire or two and a really terrible firing or two.

 We are going back at her.
Give it another go.
What could possible go wrong?

I sometimes mull over in my head all the possibilities of what could go wrong from start to finish, and still we go out there throw around some clay, and do it all over again.
I believe our only understanding is that we will never really understand all the elements of what we do.
Yes, we love to spout off about clay, glaze, firing, and what we do. But, once we release it to the elements of fire, one just has to toss their hopes to the wind.
After all it is all about that last step, the fire, it determines    the final outcome.
I once thought that firing in an electric kiln would cure all the ills and be easy.
No, even an electric kiln has it's ways.

So toss we go, and if the luck is with us we rejoice.

We mourn the loss of the ones that don't make it and move on.

After all some of my best friends are seconds.
 I use many of them in my daily life. A bowl that did not make the cut, a mug that needed grinding, a plate with a pop out. You know the game, not bad enough to take a hammer to, but not what you want out in the world with your name on it.

I always wonder what is the best use for some pots.

 I know many of us sell seconds. I always hesitate to do so.
There are times that I will price a pot lower thinking you are just slightly a second.
I once had a customer, well I take that back, I once had a women who came in toting  another women with her. Women number one was showing the other women how best to "get a deal" from the potters. She looked and looked and looked until she found an oil lamp that was not perfectly glaze. She marches over with her hand on the spot and says, what will you take off for this imperfection!? I was stunned. And, since I saw no relationship happening here I just took the pot from her rolled it around looking at it and said well. 99%   of the pot is perfect so I could take off 1 %.
They left, not taking my 20 cent discount. Some people just don't know a good thing.

So we are back in the clay, making, dreaming, puzzle solving, doing all those things in hopes that we can bring it all together once again for a finished product.

Really, what could possibly go wrong?


Tracey Broome said...

This was a good one! Stunning pots, not a second in the bunch. That blue glaze was behaving quite well wasn't it!!!!
Ugh customers, can't live with 'em can't live without 'em.

Linda Starr said...

love the overlapped glazes, hope the small kiln does good this time.

Shortstuff said...

You need to rename the small gas kiln "Leslie" AKA little bitch. :^)

cookingwithgas said...

TB- I should take pictures of the seconds. Like the red headed step child they are not in the shots...

cookingwithgas said...

Tanks Linda!
Les you do know what Ms. B stands for... but we call hope to all her Queen bee and Not Leslie B.

cookingwithgas said...

Tanks and Thanks!!

Sandy miller said...

Great post I am knee deep in glazing and just came in for coffee........ this was truly good to read at the moment......

Once the kiln is loaded somebody else is driving the bus!

The backyard is a bit of a pond today and the winds have kicked up so there must be a change coming!

Gary's third pottery blog said...

haha 99 percent, GOOD ONE!

angela walford said...

20c some peeps dont know a bargain when it smacks em in the face!

cookingwithgas said...

I know, one needs to count their pennies when they can.

angela walford said...

indeed! ;)

Patricia Griffin Ceramics said...

Beautiful pieces, not a "second" in the bunch! The overlapping glazes are stunning... In my studio gallery, I can sometimes be pretty good-natured with the "bargain" hunters. Other times, I feel like giving them the boot out the door. I love your 99% answer. I'm gonna try it!

Lori Buff said...

So often when I give someone a tip about pottery they say something like "with so much to learn how can you know all of it." Apparently you can't, you just keep plugging along and try not to think about what could possibly go wrong.
Good luck with the firing.


Wow - thanks for showing the kiln and the firings and your wonderful results. I love the effects you have got - it's such an exciting way to work, not quite knowing what they're gonna come out like.... and knowing that there's always something that could go wrong! xCathy

cookingwithgas said...

there is always something!

Shannon said...

gorgeous colors! tedious struggle for pennies off. sigh.