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Thursday, November 7, 2013

I thought this would be easy

 First of all, I lied to blogger Lori Buff. The other day I left a comment on her blog saying I think there is more loss with wood firing than raku, also stating that I almost never have loss anymore with raku.

Well, that sealed my fate of course! I couldn't just leave well enough alone and be quietly happy that my kiln has been good to me lately.....

I'm not that into clay making these days anyway, but I was messing around with some coils the other day, thinking I would start some coil pots, and I made a few snakes just for fun. I thought that maybe if I just made some stuff for the fun of it, instead of worrying about quantity and cost effectiveness and time management and gallery sales and special photography for publication, blah blah blah.... that I might actually get back to enjoying clay. Well, that lasted about a minute today.

Let the cursing begin. The first little stripey snake turned out great and I was excited to fire the rest of them
hmmmm....
 No Reduction...........

 Broke.........

and the rest were just a big fat F.U.B.A.R.
my pyrometer has decided it doesn't really want to tell me the true temp in my kiln, my glazes have decided they don't really want to participate in copper reduction, my stilts want to stick like a mofo to the glaze, the wind wanted to blow, the sky wanted to rain, glazes overfired, underfired...... I lost all of the blue snakes due to glaze malfunction.
so much for enjoying the process.


and then.........Gerry said this.......

"why don't you just make cheap knick knacks that people can afford instead of the $200 houses you have been making?"

Can I just say....... this has not set too well with me. Is that what I make? knick knacks? Fuck, I know what he meant, and he was truly not meaning to insult my work, and he is right on the stop making expensive work that no one can afford thing. But, all along I was thinking my pretty stars were hand crafted one of a kind items that you would love to buy for a friend or family member for Christmas or just collect for yourself.

Knick knack....... this statement came after me trying in vain to explain how near impossible it is for me to be a full time potter and spend any time at all with my family. I have a husband whose schedule changes on a daily basis, so I adjust to fit that.  I nearly drove myself mad the past few years trying to fit the crazy nature of clay into his schedule, so I have backed way off, it's not worth it to me. Well, never mind, nobody's listening.........

Anyway, here is the small amount of work I have to show for two days of glazing and firing my raku kiln. Not a lot. I managed to get two dozen stars that are quite pretty, and they are inexpensive and you can call them a knick knack if that's what floats your boat. I also made this small dish for testing a new glaze and it went crazy in reduction, unlike everything else. And I got some very nice beads for my weekend workshop.

Tomorrow I leave for the NC coast to spend the weekend with 12 other women making jewelry with the lovely Nina Bagley. I am beyond excited to meet Nina and make something other than clay!
I did get a bunch of beads from this firing, so all is not lost. Just some other stuff, like the snakes I was really digging for a minute.  I'll be back later

peace ya'll

9 comments:

Dennis Allen said...

Sounds like you are ready for a workshop. Enjoy, refresh,

handstories said...

Or you could call them "handmade heirlooms", We have a tradition of buying one new ornament a year, and I want one of your pretty blue stars for this year. Would have loved to have seen a blue snake! This dilema of defining what we do/who we are, is making me nuts this week. You should have heard me babbling/blubbering at the hairdresser the other day when she asked what I'm doing now...good grief. I hope you have a wonderful break and creative time.

Tracey Broome said...

Hey Dennis, refresh is definitely on the agenda and I have been wanting a workshop for over a year now. None of the craft schools really offered anything I was interested in and they cost too much. This one works for me

Cindy, I know, right?! Moms seem to get lost for awhile, now I'm trying to find myself again....
if I can get enough stars to make it through the process, I'll put some in my etsy shop, but I have really waited a bit too long..... we also get one new ornament every year, so many have really great stories to go with them, I love that about ornaments, the memories that you unwrap every year

handstories said...

well, I'll cross my fingers that you make enough & put one on reserve for me in your shop. yes, we love the stories, too.

oldgreymare said...

AS the definition of knick knack is a
"a small worthless object esp a household ornament".....
ahem.....
Gerry needs some new words
art piece
object d'art
collectible
ornamental...
learn Gerry learn :D

I also went looking for stars in etsy shop : (

cookingwithgas said...

hey tb! When it is all said and done in many ways we are making objects. Some of them are for the daily use, some are for the love and some are just... his choice of words stings but give him a break and then educate him. I think he was trying but words sometimes just do not work.
Hiss on those snakes... I was thinking the other day that after 30 plus years the guess work would be done...but nope- its not.

Sandy miller said...

Moths to flame this clay stuff! My shard pile grows and grows as the years go by but I keep going back.

Last weekend I was working away in the studio when the door opened and Butch walked in with his sailing buddy.. He waved his hand around and said; This is where she makes her stuff. I threw a wet sponge at him! All these years and that's the best he can do....... Amazing!

ShellHawk said...

For several years, my husband was after me to "Make that. It'll sell!" or "Oh, you have to make this! That'll totally sell!" only to have the items sit and sit and never get sold! I made wine chillers at his behest for a show in Napa, California, and NOT ONE sold! So now, he won't volunteer his opinion. (Whew!)
Anyway, he struggles with what I do, and is supporitve, but he doesn't get it. The struggle only comes when I expect a guy with his background to understand the draw for making art and sculpture (higher-end stuff that no one can afford.) vs. cheapie "knick-knacks."
When those moments come, I hold onto my temper and remind myself that he's just trying to help. I nod and smile and ignore him. It works amazingly well! Lol!

Natalie Thiele said...

Have you checked the battery on your pyrometer?