Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Skill of Letting Go

I put off unloading, because Friday & Saturday were so bitterly cold, and because no one is waiting for these pots. Today warmed up to a near-balmy 23°, sunny and perfect for unloading. Right off the bat, I suffered the traditional unloading nick, which bled like a mad bastard until I finally gave in, went inside & got a bandaid. 

As inevitable as the nick is the loss of a few pieces. Some firing processes demand more sacrifices to the kiln gods than others; these pots got some bits of wadding crumbled into them from between the bricks of the door. (Not sure why there was more crumbling than usual. I'll have to think about that.)

In the past I might have argued with myself that I could dremel out the bits, apply more glaze, and refire; or that I should save them for a magical someday when I will have time to make a mosaic with my broken pieces; or that I should place them between plants in the perennial garden. Now I'm just like, Nah, toss 'em. The sooner they are out of my sight the sooner they don't matter. If I saved all the pots that didn't work out I'd be surrounded by now, obstructed in every direction by buckets & boxes of unusable pots. Letting go is a valuable skill, for a potter. It's one I teach my students, when their handle separate or their rims crack: let it go. Take the lesson & let the piece go. Make another one. I try to live my own advice. 

Otherwise the firing was pretty good. The very bottom layer was a little pale - I stacked differently, and it affected the way the soda vapor moved around the kiln. (I don't have to let go of those, because they don't require any additional work from me - just load em in the next kiln as if it were the first time.) Mostly mugs & pasta bowls, a few dip dishes & berry colanders. Bread & butter ware, so to speak, although no actual butter dishes. 

Speaking of actual butter dishes, I have some in progress that need assembling, so that's where I'm headed now. 


smartcat said...

Great that the firingt went well. Working in low fire I smash my rejects for driveway fill.
It's starting to snow. The temp has risen to a balmy 22º; yesterday it was 2º. It's amazing the difference 20º make even at these low temps.

Lori Watts said...

We are supposed to get the Big Snow today. I'm kinda looking forward to it! Is that weird?