Sunday, January 29, 2012

the truth.

you never know what really goes on in a relationship behind closed doors, but the truth is that CLAY and I are in a BIG FIGHT. i've been working on new cups using different clays, slips, and glazes for weeks now. and after many trials and tribulations, test firings, more test firings, tears, tantrums, disappointments, and new supplies, i thought i had finally nailed down the perfect formula for clay + slip + glaze + temperature = nice cup. well, i thought wrong. turns out that what happens in your test kiln is NOT necessarily what happens in your big kiln, and what happens in your big kiln is NOT necessarily what happens in your even bigger kiln.

i know that all of my testing and inconclusive results are just part of the process and nature of this beast we call CLAY, and it really IS part of the adventure and surprise. but, when you actually need functional cups for a real SHOW, it can be maddening and heart breaking. i wish CLAY would just behave the way i WANT him to right now . . . but at this point, all i can do is cross my fingers and close my eyes.

12 comments:

Tracey Broome said...

I feel your pain. My clay and kiln and I had a BIG fight this morning! My favorite pieces killed themselves in the the kiln last night!! Why is it the pieces you want to survive the most are the ones that never do....

rae dunn. said...

oh tracey that SUCKS. the kilns GODS must have had the night off last night. easier said than done, but we really have to learn how to LET GO at the drop of a hat . . . so sorry.

Growin' Granny said...

Oh my, I am truly so sorry for the troubles you are both having. But--and this may sound horrible--it is helpful to a struggling newbie to be reminded that even some of the experienced and talented potters that I admire still have difficulties and agonize over these problems and I'm not alone when I feel my kiln goddess has cursed me.

Linda Fahey said...

Blood, sweat, tears, insanity! You are on a clay spirit journey, Rae. I think clay is the ultimate zen teacher. Thanks for reminding us about patience, and how crazy making it can be!!

Good luck! Whatever goes on behind closed doors, your work always looks flawless.

susanwellssculpture.com said...

My knees get bruised from all praying I do for my kilns (and my teenager boy-child)

Michele D. said...

It gets better...

Natalie Thiele said...

I think I know what your problem is. Jan Brady, your new kiln. Wasn't she the one who always had problems? Use a different kiln!

rae dunn. said...

natalie, JAN BRADY is the shiny brand new kiln that i just bought. she replaced her evil twin. i don't think jan is the problem. she, otherwise, has been firing flawlessly.

rae dunn. said...

growin' granny, these problems (technical difficulties, bad clay, bad fitting issues, etc . . .) will ALWAYS haunt us no matter how experienced we are. and some things will just never make sense. these are lessons from the CLAY GODS that we, for some reason, need to learn !

Natalie Thiele said...

Sorry, I wasn't being helpful, I was attempting to be funny. I was refering to the "real" Jan Brady on the show. Wasn't she the one with problems? Maybe if you changed the name of your kiln...
Never mind.

rae dunn. said...

natalie, that's FUNNY ! poor jan brady, the middle child, was just always misunderstood. i'm giving her a second chance . . . she can let us see what she is REALLY made of !

angela walford said...

that really sucks hey! I'm just about to get some new clay to work with looks like i'm asking for trouble! that and a new kiln!! double trouble.... :P hope you sort it out soon...