Monday, March 5, 2012

102 Mugs in 84 Hours





I reached my goal last night around 8 pm: 100 mugs in 100 hours. I ended up with 102 mugs - I was on a roll, why stop? - and actually completed the challenge with 16 hours to spare. A couple of thoughts about this project:

  • It was a lot of work, but it wasn't a crazy lot of work. It required prioritizing studio work over errands and such, which is always hard for me, and also can't happen every day: I do have to go to the bank and return library books and get cat food sometimes. But it reminded me that I could be getting a lot more pots made than I actually do. Remind me of that the next time I am whining about not having enough inventory.
  • This approach was so effective that I may try it in other forms. I couldn't do 100 butter dishes, for example, or even 50, in 100 hours (which suggests right off the bat that maybe I am under-charging for the butter dishes?) but I could probably do 20. Setting a more specific goal (as opposed to "make some casseroles today") seemed to help keep me on track.
  • Obviously, this will only work for those days dedicated to wet work; but glazing, glaze-mixing and kiln-clean-up days already have a built-in specific goal, in that it all has to be done by loading day.
  • I made mugs in multiples of 12: 12 of this shape, 12 of that, and in some cases I felt I wasn't done with a shape after 12 so made another dozen or half-dozen. I made some mugs that I probably wouldn't have thought of, except I had exhausted (temporarily) my interest in my go-to shapes.
  • And, just YAY! I did it, and without making any sloppy or thoughtless mugs. In fact I wedged up two, because they were ugly, in that trying-too-hard way. I was afraid that by focusing on quantity I might be tempted to rush past the details that distinguish studio pottery from production pottery, but that didn't happen. Even when I chose to forgo decoration or throwing marks, it was with an eye to what I might like to do with glaze.
Thanks to all of you who followed along on Facebook and Twitter. It was a great motivator to know that people were watching. You are the best, mwaaahh!
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