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Confession Of An Amateur

you make everything seem easy

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#1 jrgpots

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 10:27 PM

Last night I spent about 2 hours making a clay lattice berry bowl. This AM I was cleaning it up a bit and put my hand through the bottom. I swear I kill more pieces than I create. And only a few of them I really like.

I feel like a poser, trying to be a potter. I'm frustrated.

Anyway, Thank you for your patience and expertise. You give me hope when,y hands betray me.

#2 TJR

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 10:37 PM

jrgpots;

We all do stuff like that. I had a post running about bonehead mistakes,that we all make. I am not in the studio as I fell and broke my ankle. I can't think of a ceramic related mistake that I have made lately. Hop back on the wheel or the hand building table and make another one. Chances are that it will be better.

TJR.



#3 jrgpots

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 10:49 PM

Thanks for putting things back into prospective. Any news of when you will be back on the wheel?

#4 PresToo

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:12 PM

Heck, just 2 months ago I was completing an order of plates. Ready for glaze firing, 5 waiting for wax botttoms, stumbled and knocked all five off. Order was for 20, I had made 30. As Forest Gump said: It happens!  Now if I could just get rid of this vertigo I have been having. . . .



#5 jrgpots

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 11:20 PM

Heck, just 2 months ago I was completing an order of plates. Ready for glaze firing, 5 waiting for wax botttoms, stumbled and knocked all five off. Order was for 20, I had made 30. As Forest Gump said: It happens!  Now if I could just get rid of this vertigo I have been having. . . .


Ouch, that is like dropping jelly on a new carpet. by-the-way Antivert works.

#6 Mark C.

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 12:14 AM

Pres

I feel for you as vertigo is the worst man. Hope it goes away soon.

Mark


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#7 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 07:26 AM

Most recent:

I put my finger through the bottom of an 8th mug for a dinner set.

It was going to be a smaller set but all the extras turned out except for the mugs. 

 

Marcia



#8 Benzine

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:16 AM

Yeah, who hasn't done something like that?

 

So many times, I've accidentally altered the shape of some of my pieces, when I thought they were drier, than they were.  I usually don't want to take the time to fix them, so I just let out a "sigh" and throw them in reclaim.  Maybe they'll fare better in their next life......Ceramic reincarnation if you will.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#9 PresToo

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:36 AM

Yeah, once years ago, I had a glass shelf in a large library showcase collapse while loading it with student pottery. Didn't break the shelf, but 5 large sculptural pieces were broken up.  I cried.  However, the next month I spent an hour every day reassembling the pieces with epoxy and epoxy putty. I sanded every glued/puttied joint smooth and at the end matched each color with acrylic paint carefully until the breaks were invisible(except to very close inspection).  I had told the students what had happened, and they had seen the pieces. They also knew how upset I was, but when it was finished, they were amazed, and grateful.  After that I was reallly careful with that suspened shelf set up.



#10 minspargal

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 08:47 AM

Spent hours making a clay catfish, fired it, glazed it and fired it again only to discover i glazed it with the wrong glaze. Instead of a molted bluish color i was expecting, it was a garish turqouis! After that i glued  the test tiles to the lids of the glaze jars



#11 oldlady

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:02 AM

a foot problem has made me use the footpedal on the tabletop surface of the wheel for many years.  once in a class where each potter faced another potter a foot away, i cleaned up my space and put the muddy bucket on the top of the wheel while i moved the pedal back to the floor.    

 

yeah, i did.  the person across from me was the most miserable of persons BEFORE she was covered with slurry and slop so you can imagine what she said!


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#12 Benzine

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:25 AM

Yeah, once years ago, I had a glass shelf in a large library showcase collapse while loading it with student pottery. Didn't break the shelf, but 5 large sculptural pieces were broken up.  I cried.  However, the next month I spent an hour every day reassembling the pieces with epoxy and epoxy putty. I sanded every glued/puttied joint smooth and at the end matched each color with acrylic paint carefully until the breaks were invisible(except to very close inspection).  I had told the students what had happened, and they had seen the pieces. They also knew how upset I was, but when it was finished, they were amazed, and grateful.  After that I was reallly careful with that suspened shelf set up.

WOW!  I hope I avoid such a situation.  Thus far, I've only horribly broke, one student's project and that was about five years ago.  We were having a student art show, and one of the Seniors, who had her own display.  She had a nice coil pot, that had a great wavy form, with a nice antique, "oxidized metal" looking glaze on the outside.  The student somehow chipped a bit of their project, so I said, "No problem, I'll take it back to the room, and grind/ smooth that down.  So I took it to the room, set it on the table, and turned to grab the sanding disc.  The project rolled off the table, and broke into a dozen or so pieces on the floor.  Once again, it was a wavy form, not round/ spherical at all.  It was wider one way, than the other.  There is almost no way, it could roll, but it found a way.  I did not glue it back together, as you did Pres.  I don't know if I could have with all the pieces, nor could I match the glaze effect.  It's Amaco Antique Blue, for reference.  The student was  upset, but we got along well, so she wasn't terribly mad at me.  I was more upset with myself.

 

Also, the same year I believe, I had a student make a large sculptural head.  It was nearly life-sized, but had all these hollow flaring strands of head and beard hair, coming off of it, for an awesome effect.  I had to help reattach quite a few of those strands, because the student kept bumping them, while working on others.  Stressful, for both of us.  Finally, he finished it, and I nervously loaded it into the kiln, trying not to bump any of the strands.  It was loaded, fired, and taken out of the kiln without incident.  The student used  a mason stain, to give it an aged look.  He didn't like the way it turned out, so he wanted to try another layer of stain.  While it was sitting on the kiln room shelves, my "Cadet Teacher", who is a student that receives a credit for helping a teacher, was cleaning the kiln/ kiln room.  She bumped into the shelf, holding the sculpture, and it hit the floor obliterating it.  She felt horrible, as did I.  The maker, said he didn't care, as he was frustrated with the project, and all the issues it gave him.  I still don't buy that statement.  I know he was really upset. 

 

Recently, I broke an ear off of a nice little Raku fired piece, while loading it up to go to an art show.  That was an easy epoxy fix.  Like you Pres, I was upfront with the student about it, and apologized.


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#13 Kohaku

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:36 AM

A few days back, I left one of my pastibats in the sun by mistake. Nice warp in the middle.

 

Anyhow, I was working through an 'end-of-the-day-gotta-get-one-more-thing-built' crisis. I threw the warped bat on the wheel. Half wasy through the centering process, it slipped off the pins. Bat and clay went spinning through the air like a UFO and smashed a window, nearly killing my landlord's chicken in the process.


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#14 PresToo

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:37 AM

Up front with the students is the only way to go.



#15 Benzine

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:41 AM

A few days back, I left one of my pastibats in the sun by mistake. Nice warp in the middle.

 

Anyhow, I was working through an 'end-of-the-day-gotta-get-one-more-thing-built' crisis. I threw the warped bat on the wheel. Half wasy through the centering process, it slipped off the pins. Bat and clay went spinning through the air like a UFO and smashed a window, nearly killing my landlord's chicken in the process.

Almost killing a chicken with a flying bat.  That sounds like an OffCenter story.

 

And leaving a plastibat in the sun, will cause it to warp?  I had no idea!


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#16 Chris Campbell

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:47 AM

I believe there is a direct relationship between an object's survival prospects and how much you like it. I've seen it in action too many times to doubt it. I get sooooo nervous when somebody falls in love with a piece in process.

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TRY ...   FAIL ...  LEARN ...  REPEAT


#17 PresToo

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 09:52 AM

I think you are right! It seems like an inverse concept-the more time and love I put into a piece, the less chance of its survival. Last few years of teaching, when I made a demo that whowed the kids, lots of times it would break accidentaly-they were heartbroken, I just told them I would make another one. These days a pot is a pot if I get too enamored with it, it really won't meet my expectations after final firing so I try to stay uncommitted.



#18 Benzine

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:35 AM

Yeah, the students seem to freak out, when I take my wheel demo piece, and slice it in half with the wire, to talk about consistent thickness.  "Why did you do that?!!!"  I tell them, because it was just an average demo piece.

 

In regards to the survivability of pieces you have grown attached to, I think it's because, that on at least a subconscious level, we are trying to be more cautious with them, and make silly mistakes because of it.  You try to move slowly, to avoid slipping and dropping the piece, but as you normally don't move that way, you aren't used to it, and make mistakes.  Or maybe, you try to get it into the kiln, and fire it, faster than you would, because you don't want the bone dry piece sitting around, to get damaged, which of course caused it to crack or explode.......Or maybe it's just all because you did not pay proper tribute to the Clay and Kiln Gods. 


"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#19 Claypple

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 11:42 AM

  Now if I could just get rid of this vertigo I have been having. . . .

Do you know why you have the vertigo? I do not like treating just a symptom. Need to know what causes it. 
No need to reply. It is rather a private situation, and I have no intention to break your privacy. Just letting you know you should not ignore it. 



#20 TJR

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 01:01 PM

I am trying to reply to a couple specific posts-like the chicken one. What happened to the "reply" button? Is it quote, multi-quote, or report. I am confused.

TJR. :unsure:






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