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treehouse

Ideas for ugly pots?

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treehouse    0

My first posting here! As a somewhat new potter, I find my skill level improving steadily over time, but in order to have gotten here, I've made a lot of very substandard pots that I want to get out of my life permanently, but feel bad just throwing them into the landfill, and certainly don't want to sell. Does anyone have any creative ideas for using ugly pots? I've thought maybe breaking them up into shards and doing some kind of mosaic, but I could probably cover my whole driveway with what I've got on hand, and I'd so much rather be throwing than doing mosaics!

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Peter    0

My first posting here! As a somewhat new potter, I find my skill level improving steadily over time, but in order to have gotten here, I've made a lot of very substandard pots that I want to get out of my life permanently, but feel bad just throwing them into the landfill, and certainly don't want to sell. Does anyone have any creative ideas for using ugly pots? I've thought maybe breaking them up into shards and doing some kind of mosaic, but I could probably cover my whole driveway with what I've got on hand, and I'd so much rather be throwing than doing mosaics!

 

 

Love the idea.

I'm now hammering the pieces. It's quick and can't be taken back. That way I can keep and display ones that I'm proud of and enjoy looking at....

Visitors are not distracted by them either so it's a win, win situation.

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Mark C.    1,807

Not sure if you have one nearby but we have a local concrete/paving/materials recycling place just down the road that grinds up all non-organic materials for road use. They take toilets pottery clay whatever for free and grind it with the rest for road building. These are in most areas at least in this state. I will say that this may not be everywhere. You can call a concrete plant and ask where one is as thats where they dump the unused stuff. Its repurposing in a way.

Mark

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Lucille Oka    16

I agree save some for your self and save some for future archaeologists. Bury some of the pots some where they will love you for it.

You can always make pavers by embedding big chunks of fired ware into concrete (there are molds you can buy). Sorry if there are errors in this post I am doing this from my phone.

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Pres    896

My first posting here! As a somewhat new potter, I find my skill level improving steadily over time, but in order to have gotten here, I've made a lot of very substandard pots that I want to get out of my life permanently, but feel bad just throwing them into the landfill, and certainly don't want to sell. Does anyone have any creative ideas for using ugly pots? I've thought maybe breaking them up into shards and doing some kind of mosaic, but I could probably cover my whole driveway with what I've got on hand, and I'd so much rather be throwing than doing mosaics!

 

 

Years ago, I had a bunch of pots that were "substandard". I really did not want to throw them out, so I put them in my mom's rock garden that was quite large. They fit right in, and over the years as they froze and broke, we left them there until they were pretty much gone. They added some "fairy like" interest to the garden.

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TJR    359

Get the ball pene hammer and start smashing. Do this when you are alone, as the noise is quite unsettling. Wear a set of goggles and work gloves, as the shards are glass. Lots of people will want to help you by picking out pots and "rescuing them", by taking them home. Don't let any get away. Don't save any sherds for mosaics. Throw them all away in a cardboard box, taped up, and don't look back. You will feel great.

I have smashed a lot of stuff in my time. Didn't keep any to hang around and remind me of my bad decisions.

Start today.

TJR

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I agree save some for your self and save some for future archaeologists. Bury some of the pots some where they will love you for it.

You can always make pavers by embedding big chunks of fired ware into concrete (there are molds you can buy). Sorry if there are errors in this post I am doing this from my phone.

 

 

Don't save the bad ones--I sure don't want to be represented solely by my mistakes. Study your mistakes, learn from your mistakes, and then smash them.

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GEP    863

I still have the very first pot I threw. Yes it's dreadful, but I like having it. That's the only one. All the bad pots since have been smashed. I agree with others that smashing feels great. Try it!

 

Mea

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Chris Campbell    1,088

One potter I know started building a wall with them ... it now stretches around two sides of her back yard. Cool thing is that after several years she still has some laughs and finds some 'treasures' as she walks along it.

I smash mine ... my neighbor likes using the shards in her ground cover since it keeps the small animals away from her flowers.

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kathi    2

I agree with the majority....smash 'em! I use the broken pieces as fill for the gravel drive to my house.

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Edith Marie    1

Three of my early pots are used for my kitty, Roscoe, one dried food, one for water, one for wet food other early pots are still around to show me where I started and where I am now. The really ugly ones are part of my flower beds, others my friend has to make a totem pole with for her garden, others are at work holding various office items. Thanks everyone for inspiration for ugly pots….

 

Edie

 

 

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Lucille Oka    16

I agree save some for your self and save some for future archaeologists. Bury some of the pots some where they will love you for it.

You can always make pavers by embedding big chunks of fired ware into concrete (there are molds you can buy). Sorry if there are errors in this post I am doing this from my phone.

 

 

Don't save the bad ones--I sure don't want to be represented solely by my mistakes. Study your mistakes, learn from your mistakes, and then smash them.

 

 

No!! Wait!

I purchased a book solely about 'wasters' and they can be wonderful and museums dedicate entire study halls to them. If you do not think the 'ugly' work is good now it will be a thousand years from now. Many of the ancient wares are wasters. There are excavations going on in many areas of the world trying to uncover wasters.

Just knowing that the work I am doing now will possibly be around for someone to see thousands of years from now is thrilling. Discovering wasters will be a real treat for the anthropologists and archaeologists they will not care if the pots are 'ugly' or not they will be happy just to find it just like they are today.

At least get a second or third opinion from family and friends before you get rid of anything.

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Claypple    29

I think a message for amateur potter/beginner should be: if it does not have any potential at the greenware stage, it should be reclaimed. Why fire what already looks ugly?

If it did have some potential but got ruined by glazing, we can reglaze it, right?

 

 

On the other hand, mistakes are good! My best vases so far got out of some sort of mistakes I made (wrong move, shaken table).

... I am just learning, though.

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treehouse    0

Get the ball pene hammer and start smashing. Do this when you are alone, as the noise is quite unsettling. Wear a set of goggles and work gloves, as the shards are glass. Lots of people will want to help you by picking out pots and "rescuing them", by taking them home. Don't let any get away. Don't save any sherds for mosaics. Throw them all away in a cardboard box, taped up, and don't look back. You will feel great.

I have smashed a lot of stuff in my time. Didn't keep any to hang around and remind me of my bad decisions.

Start today.

TJR

 

 

That's how I'm leaning, thanks TJR for the nudge!

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treehouse    0

I think a message for amateur potter/beginner should be: if it does not have any potential at the greenware stage, it should be reclaimed. Why fire what already looks ugly?

If it did have some potential but got ruined by glazing, we can reglaze it, right?

 

 

On the other hand, mistakes are good! My best vases so far got out of some sort of mistakes I made (wrong move, shaken table).

... I am just learning, though.

 

 

So true, that is what I'm doing now, I don't fire anything I'm not completely satisfied with, and luckily those pots are getting to be more and more numerous!!

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treehouse    0

I agree save some for your self and save some for future archaeologists. Bury some of the pots some where they will love you for it.

You can always make pavers by embedding big chunks of fired ware into concrete (there are molds you can buy). Sorry if there are errors in this post I am doing this from my phone.

 

 

Cool idea to bury a couple, I'm going to do that, but only good ones!

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AtomicAxe    19

Not sure if you have one nearby but we have a local concrete/paving/materials recycling place just down the road that grinds up all non-organic materials for road use. They take toilets pottery clay whatever for free and grind it with the rest for road building. These are in most areas at least in this state. I will say that this may not be everywhere. You can call a concrete plant and ask where one is as thats where they dump the unused stuff. Its repurposing in a way.

Mark

 

 

My college did this, we had the smash wall ... students could break their nasty pieces there and leave it ... after a few years a company would come and haul it off for construction filler. Good stuff.

 

 

smash it, make more. you're not keeping it cause it's you're first borns creations ... you're keeping it because you made it ... guess what, you can make more (and hopefully better) smash it and move on. It's theraputic and cleansing. win win.

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I use an ugly one to scoop the dog food out of the bag-

 

Once i went to the thrift store and made a cupcake tower out of 3 crystal plates and 2 candle sticks. They were all different and it looked very shabby chic. Perhaps your junk pots are able to be used for pieces of other creations?

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weeble    5

At least most of my 'seconds' are still usable... I just finished potting up a bunch of ugly little bonsai trees in ugly bonsai pots. Now, after a few years the ugly trees will improve and become nice little bonsais, but the pots... eh, probably not much hope there!!! But I really don't care if training pots for my immature trees wobble. They're a heck of an improvement on plastic!

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Marian65    7

Your question could easily have come from me! I think the discussion of whether to smash or not to smash is ongoing and entirely depends on your own personality and view of your craft. While one often knows whether a piece is good or not before putting it on the drying shelf, sometimes it's just fine at that stage but something goes wrong along the process. If you like being 'green' and a piece is just ugly, but still useful, why dump it? If you have intentions of becoming a professional potter and think you will be embarrassed after you become famous, by all means bury those horrid things! I save my uglies for awhile until they take up too much space and then I sort them. I have a particular wonderful friend who has chickens and dogs and cats and a huge garden. She also has a lot of my pottery, which she adores, that she uses for the animals to drink from or for toad houses and a few pieces that I gave her for those purposes because she liked them, but are in her kitchen. What is ugly to you may be someone else's little treasure even if it doesn't perform its intended use as it should. When it's totally wrecked, thank it and toss it onto your pile. My husband is filling in an area beside the driveway in front of our shop/studio, so all my disasters get tossed in one area and eventually get covered with rocks and dirt and used cat litter! I'm fortunate to live in a very rural area, so there is little waste of anything. We're all different in our nature, so do what feels right within yourself. I know I'll never reach stardom with my pottery, but it sells in the few shops where I have it and I give away anything that my friends want. They can't do it, so they think I'm a genius! I keep some mishaps to show my occassional student so hopefully they'll not make that mistake with their own. Come to think of it, since I'm writing this, I think it might be fun to begin some kind of abstract sculpture using all that junk stuff. Wish I'd started one a long time ago. I'd have to have a ladder to add things at this point, but what a fun piece of garden art! Maybe I'll start planning one tomorrow. I had a cake plate that really slumped badly in the glaze kiln. I took it to show the owner of one of the shops I sell from. Her husband saw it and asked for it when I said I was going to smash it. I think it lives in a flower bed now.

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