Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How do you like my new pots?





There are days when I should just not go into the studio. Especially if I'm about to fire and need to glaze pots. Like yesterday.
I don't understand what it is, but it may be something like a batter being in a slump, or a pitcher who can't find his curveball, or a basketball player who can't hit his jump shot no matter how many he takes. (I know about that last one; I spent a whole high school "career" looking for my jumper.)
Nothing felt right yesterday, all the glaze buckets were too heavy, the pots didn't look or feel good, everything was a mess, I couldn't hold onto the feet of pots for dipping into the glaze. I should have just gone for a walk in the rain ... or anything other than what I was doing. Instead, I pressed on, dropping one cup, kicking the leg of a table full of pots and losing four or five of them (that's the top photo). I worked through the afternoon, the studio closing in on me, ash glaze chipping off the rims, picking up wet shino-glazed cups and leaving finger marks. All the stuff you tell first-year pottery students not to do.
I quit for the day when I had the two bottom shelves filled (third photo from top), which even on a good day is my most time-consuming glaze chore. I shot a picture of it, covered the glaze buckets and went into the living room, where Dee was sewing curtains, and lay down on the couch. Blanco, our 20-pound white cat, saw his opportunity and draped his fat, furry body across me. I was done for the day.
I don't know why there are days like that, but there's always one every few weeks. This morning, I went back into the studio and everything worked. (The second and bottom photos.) It's all just fine now. I don't get it.

13 comments:

Anna said...

The good news is you have had "that day". So you should be safe for another couple of weeks!

Hollis Engley said...

Good thinking, Anna.

Kari Weaver Hopkins said...

Sorry for your bum luck. I tend to do the same thing---push forward when the Universe is telling me to go do something else. I recall one day when I broke the handles on 3 baskets just trying to load them into a bisque. I should have stopped after the first one. Time to start listening to that inner voice, eh?

FetishGhost said...

This is the universe's way of giving you something to compare the good days to.
Another daring day of "Doh" all done.

Tracey Broome said...

Thank God for bloggers, we all have those days and no one else would understand if you tried to explain it! Just like Judy's post today about her "hobby". I am reading the blogs and nodding with every one of them. I still have a kiln to unload from firing last week before I left and I laid on the sofa all day today in a stupor. I guess thousands of screaming basketball fans and loud bands took their toll. If I had tried to glaze those pots today as was my plan, you and I would have had a similar day I think! I like the splashes of glaze, those are going to be great pots when fired I bet.

Hollis Engley said...

Yes, the consensus about paying attention to the inner voice is right. I'm all loaded now. All went smoothly. I'll fire Thursday and spend tomorrow writing. (Meredith will be happy to hear that.)
There should be some kind of rule, Tracey, about NOT GLAZING after a weekend of the ACC tournament. Couch time mandatory.

Dan Finnegan said...

That photo is like a punch in the gut...looks like you started sweeping up and then thought of taking a photo for the blog. I've been there...
I wondered who my rival was for your writing skills...!

ang said...

i know its days like those when you should just walk away..i walked away today all i got done was vac clean the kiln at the club!....what's the internal size of your kiln eveytime i see a pic of it - it looks just like mine but bigger!

Hollis Engley said...

You're right, Ang. Some days you just can't get going. This kiln is an Olympic D-17, a downdraft 17-cubic foot kiln. I can fill it in maybe three days of throwing, two if I'm really energetic.

Winston said...

Sorry I don't mean to crow but it's good to know there are other people who go through days like this. Even professionals.

For me, it's throwing and cutting all my pots lopsided. Two weeks ago, everything I touched automatically leaned to one side - some to the left, others to the right - no matter how much care I took. I haven't dumped all of a whole day's work since my twelfth session at the wheel, and i had to do it that day.

Hollis Engley said...

Stuff happens, doesn't it?

ladyofclay said...

Hi Hollis, Thanks for sharing this on your blog... I made a huge mistake several weeks ago on one of "those" days... punched in my saved glaze program when I meant to punch in the bisque program. Loosing all that work really knocked the wind out of me. I have had a hard time getting out to the studio lately because of all my other obligations standing in the way. I did try putting some glaze on the mature clay. but the body I use started to blister - I guess it's not meant to be re-fired. I've given away all the large trays and some of the baking dishes to my friends and neighbors to use as bread bakers and pizza stones ! " Mother said there would be days like this... she just didn't say there would be so many ! ". Colleen

Hollis Engley said...

You know, Colleen, you just have to get back at it and make another kilnload. And the world needs more pizza stones, anyway.