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Pres

QothW: Describe a day from your ceramics life that left you thinking "this was a really good day."

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Mea (GEP) asked the following a few weeks back. . . . Describe a day from your ceramics life that left you thinking "this was a really good day."  

So many times, I would have good days when teaching. . . . opening up a new glaze load of student pots, perusing their surfaces, the detail of the textures and the solid craftsmanship that the students would put into them with grueling work overseen by me looking over their shoulders urging them on. All came to fruition when opening up that kiln early in the morning before anyone else was there, laying them out on the table so that I could see them as a grouping to sigh. . . . this was what it was all about. Such a good day!

 

Now, my good days amount to being able to throw 60 mugs in a morning, and trim them the next day then add handles. To be able to make the funeral jar with the inner and outer lids so that they fit, and come out of the kiln with not cracks, and beautiful glaze surface that allows the details of the shaping texture to show through. These make my day, and yes, I still get chills when opening a new kiln load and finding so many beautiful surfaces and colors that enhance the form. Yeah. . . good days all.

 

best,

Pres

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If you do pots for a living, some days are horrible ... uninspired, tired, crabby ... you still have work to produce, so you get your tush into the studio and slog through. You have to push yourself and convince yourself that you are making good work even though it does not feel like it. Sometimes you leave at night thinking you should just heave everything and save yourself a world of grief.

Then, the next day dawns and you feel good and you want to work but ... ugh ... what is waiting from yesterday?

... and there it is and it’s fine and every once in a while it is more the fine, it is excellent and you gotta wonder “where did I pull that from ?” ... so that becomes a very good day because sometime yesterday you crossed a bridge and made it to the other side.

Pres and BlackDogPottery like this

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Yesterday's unloading of the anagama kiln (New Hampshire Institute of Art/Community Education  Program).  Hidden Mask Series No. 5 "Emerging".  It was a REALLY GOOD DAY!!!!!!

20171105_092643-.jpg

20171105_182707-.jpg

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Firing Raku can yield good results or disasters. So a good day of firing is always rewarding. If the humidity is right, or the combustible is working its juju, then all is right in the world. This was a good day. Got some beauties. Firing in the heat of South Texas was physically stressful. This was a long day of firing into the night. I used a new source of straw from a feed store near the art museum. It seemed to have more weeds than straw, but it created very interesting colors.

 

 

nightrakugroundSMcopy.jpg

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Every day in the studio feels like a good day. I am still acutely aware of how it compares to my previous career (graphic design, which is not a bad career but I disliked staring at a computer all day, and it never provided the same kind of satisfaction as pottery). Even though the days in the pottery studio are long and full of repetition, it still feels like a good day.

There are a few days that stand out to me as exceptionally good days. When I was fairly new to wholesaling pottery, I got a big order from the Fallingwater Museum Store. I am a huge Frank Lloyd Wright fan, learned from my design student days. When the order was ready, I called the buyer and told her I had always wanted to tour Fallingwater, so could I deliver the order in person? I drove 4.5 hours from DC to southwestern PA, dropped off the pottery, then took the tour. As I was driving home back over the mountains with the sun setting, I thought "this was a really good day."

Another one was after the first time I did the Smithsonian Craft Show. This is a really long show with long hours. The load-out at the end involves a loading dock with a two-switchback ramp. By the time I finished and got into my van to head home, I was beat. Then I realized I had just kicked butt at the Smithsonian Craft Show. That was a really good day. 

 

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I try to find something that's good about every day in the studio and use that to motivate the next.  Sometimes it's a stretch to find something, but usually it's not too hard.  The ups, downs, and mundane middles wouldn't let me get anything done otherwise.

Yesterday was mug day, and it was fun just to tune out and make a pile of mugs. Last week as a treat to myself, I made a krater, those were good days.  Trimming is always good.  Firing is ALWAYS good, even when its not.  I never get tired of the jet engine roar and watching cones fall.  And sometimes screwing up a pot can be good, if you've got a sense of humour.  

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Lots of really good days but what I look forward to the most is seeing the glaze test tiles coming out of the kiln. It's funny I was thinking about this a while ago, unloading the kiln and the mugs, bowls etc I didn't give a second glance to, just wanted to dig out the glaze tests. Guess a really good day would be finding gem in amongst all the meh tests.

GEP, Chilly, Marcia Selsor and 1 other like this

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Totally agree Min. There is nothing like that moment right before opening a kiln that contains test tiles. 

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42 minutes ago, GEP said:

There is nothing like that moment right before opening a kiln that contains test tiles. 

This basically describes every kiln opening I have ever had since I started mixing my own glazes. :wub: It is addictive.

Although this is beginning to happen less and less as I work towards consistency.

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Good days in my ceramic career involve many factors at different times of year .

Days when I throw  and sun dry and trim large volumes of wares are always good days -this is not a winter time deal

Leaving a show with a huge bag of $$$ is always a great feeling.Its never gotten old-aways a good day after killing it

Having customers for many decades express their pleasure using the work is always a great feeling on that day as well

Driving away from Arizona last December for the last show ever in that state after doing 2-4 shows there per year for 25 years was a good feeling -and having sold almost as much as I paid for my property in 1973 was well beyond words.I will miss the customers but the 2,000 mile drive  many times a year is now officially done.That was a GOOD day

Opening the kiln with test tiles as I did yesterday is always good day no matter how they look really as I learn from both results.another good day

Any part of a salt fire kiln load is great -even the days of cooling down.Since the death of my salt kiln partner (another potter) the next fire will feel strange  for sure without him.I plan on a memorial fire next time.always a good day

Unloading a kiln load with no flaws like last Sunday-always good day

Today was good day restocking mugs at 3 venues knowing they are being used today-another good day.

I enjoy knowing that folks are happy using my wares everyday so its easy to have good day just thinking about that.

 

 

 

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I won't go into all the details, but I once dated a potter whom I met in a handbuilding class. We had a thing briefly and he did a life size semi-abstract sculpture of my torso with a local clay he dug and pugged himself from scratch. Didn't know what he was working on until he unveiled it at a speaking event, since it was in fact somewhat abstract I didn't pass out.  I'll always think about how honored I feel to have been the inspiration for someone's art piece. There I am somewhere for eternity, unless I fall over and smash.  BTW I was a sort of greenish-and yellowish agateware and quite lovely if I do say so. That was a good day. 

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Every day I walk into the studio is a good day....but opening a kiln and finding out/discovering everything turned out even better than you expected is a double blessing.  Some "good days" are measured in having a good production day, other "good days" happen when inspiration hits me hard and I do sculptural things.  The smile on someone's face when you gift them a piece is a good day.  Even when I destroyed a kiln full of work because it didn't turn out the way I hoped was a good day, it taught me to "let go" and that I can better myself.  

Every day I walk my clay journey is a good day.

 

 

yappystudent and Marcia Selsor like this

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Everyday I get to spend time in my studio is a good day and opening a glaze firing can be a good day.  I had a good day where I loaded a glaze firing perfectly the first try,  it was a beautiful sight to see.  I even e-mail a picture of it to my son who lives half way around the world.  He was impressed, he has help load kilns and knows that my  coiled pots with no consistent size or shape can be a pain to load without wasting space.    Denice

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So far my best day was back in July when I made 180 coffee mugs in 8 and a half hours. However in general a good day for me is when I learn how to make a new shape and can throw it in under 2 minutes by the end of the day.

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