Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Non-potters probably have no idea the angst that's involved in the multi-step process of creating. Especially when you start to work on a piece that you become emotionally attached to. My most recent attachment is to a new teapot called Girls' Night Out - Lola and Sonya Out On The Town. I started this teapot with the thought of reviving one of my old teapot themes, fish with a pelican. As I got further and further into the creation of Lola and Sonya, I started thinking of more ways to make them glitzy, blingy, and fabuloso.

The easy part was to construct the teapot, this is a relatively safe phase of the process. Yes, things can go wrong at this stage, but only a few hours have been invested and I can always start from scratch. Once sufficiently dry, the teapot goes into the kiln for it's first firing. Another precarious stage in the process, when there is the potential for exploding clay or cracking. No problems with the bisque firing, so I pushed on to begin the glazing. This was when I started to feel my connection strengthening. I started to worry about whether glazes were going to run, how I was going to connect the necklaces, etc. etc. Final step prior to the glaze firing was to do a quick dip in clear glaze. This is when I can really screw things up, by smudging the colored underglazes, or having too thick a layer of the clear glaze. Oh the agony. But I pushed on. Yesterday, I loaded the glaze kiln with goodies. I always approach a kiln load with pessimistic optimism. Knowing that stuff can go wrong, but hoping that "stuff" doesn't happen. As the kiln was firing just prior to the shut off, I heard a noise. It sounded like maybe something tipped over. There was no way I could lift the lid, so I had to just imagine what it could be. Could one of the pieces have shifted off it's stilts and toppled over and then taken out another piece with it? My imagine ran wild and with 17 hours to go before I could open the kiln up, it was an evening of trying to find ways to get my mind off the kiln. This morning I was up bright and early, out to the studio and opened up the kiln. No problems with the top shelf, no problems with the second level, no problems with the third level, no problems with the bottom shelf. I have no idea what the noise was, but I have to remember this for the future. Don't fret over the unknown. And with clay, don't fret at all because there's always another one in my hands.