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What Has Been Your Worst Re Encounter Of A Piece Of Your Pottery?


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#1 Babs

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:44 PM

I almost had to grab a mug from a friend and smash it! In a local school and a friend was using a lowfired Majolica mug I must have made many many years agao. It was severely chipped, cracked and crazed both inside and out. Added to this it was poorly washed, you know teachers!

I had the urge to remove it fromher hands, resisted, but it is still on my mind to snaffle it as I leave this bout of relief teaching, can't look at it, can't get it out of my mind.

What's yours if you have ever been in this type of situation.

The owner of this mug knows my thoughts but insists it's the best mug ever! This doesn't help

Dear Dorothy, what should I do?



#2 Up in Smoke Pottery

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 07:04 AM

Every family gathering, my mother brings out hideous, heavy bowls from when I was learning to throw.  I have tried replacing them several times, even tried to "accidentally" knock it on the floor, but it didn't break.  She refuses to get rid of them.


Chad

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#3 Denice

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:11 AM

Babs have you given her a new mug?  If that didn't work you may have to give up or grab and smash.  Denice



#4 TJR

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:26 AM

Babs;

I think you just have to move to another town!

I went to a garage sale last summer with my kids in our old neighbourhood. The woman running the sale was my daughter's dance teacher. Her mother had passed away, and she was selling her stuff.

She had this butt ugly pot of mine-made with Valentine fire clay. Nice toasty body, very shapeless form. I turned it over. THERE WAS A CRACK IN THE BOTTOM.

My kids said;"Dad, you should buy it!."

It was $8.00. I couldn't justify spending $8.00 on that ugly thing just to smash it.

Now I lie awake at night in a cold sweat wishing I had bought it just to smash.

Tom.



#5 Davidpotter

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:17 AM

there's a cabinet in my house with a lot of my ugliest work from my beginnings. Though somehow a few escaped me to family members... i think i might have to go to the gun range some time soon.


Practice, practice, practice. Then when you think you've practiced enough, the real practice begins.

#6 Tyler Miller

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:12 AM

I maintain a wall of failure.  It's less to keep my mistakes hidden than it is a catalogue of different kinds of mistakes and failures in firings.  If it's good enough to escape that wall, I don't worry about it.

 

Stephen Fry had a wonderful anecdote about how he was told he was too humble and how that humility was rude.  Someone would compliment him on a performance or something he said and his reply was "well, you know, it was nothing."  The person telling him to stop that explained that he was insulting the taste and intelligence of the person complimenting him.  They thought it was something, and by saying it was nothing, he's saying he's better than their taste and enjoyment.  He was reminded that their opinion was the only thing that mattered--he was there for them as a performer.   I genuinely believe that applies to all art.

 

So for those potters who have ugly pots in people's possession--people who won't give them up for anything--for them, I say this:  You're not better than the joy you bring with your pots, it is that joy that makes you good.  That joy is your only goal as an artist.



#7 Babs

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:25 PM

Makes me feel a little better reading these stories. :D

The replacement mug has been offered, taken, but the old one remains with the smarter than me person...

Firing range/ land fill  sounds good but this baby remains with the above.

The wall of failure.. I am not strong enough to face that daily.Failure, yes Chris, is a learning process but to face it daily, a life time of it..

It would be fine if the end goal for me was that goal, bringing joy, but I don't think it is, for me. Haven't got the answer for that.

Moving town may be the only solution.

Fortunately the human brain does tend to numb trauma after a time... :)



#8 PSC

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 06:45 PM

I often keep my failures to show my students what could happen if you don't do everything right...the handle that started separating, the S crack in the bottom of the vase etc.

Now my early successes that i gave away to friends and family that now look like thick walled door stops are now a visible lesson to myself to use care when gifting pottery.

#9 Diane Puckett

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 08:39 PM

Thanks for posting this thread. I am going to my daughter's in a few days and need to remember to take a hammer with me.
Diane Puckett
Dry Ridge Pottery

#10 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:21 PM

My mother in law serves food in a bowl I made in my 3rd firing…. I am sure you can imagine how bad it is. 


Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#11 AnnaM

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 07:23 AM

There's nothing else for it Babs - you'll have to accidentally on pupose knock it off the table next time you're there!



#12 Wyndham

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 01:03 PM

If it weren't for our krappy beginners stuff, Goodwill would have nothing to sell. I'm sure I've help the Goodwill/Salvation Army immensely . :)

Wyndham



#13 Babs

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 05:54 PM

Probably another lesson. Too much "I"ness, and pridePride, there I've grasped the problem... So I will work at just looking at that mug and not reacting.......Prob after I've knocked it off hte table. :) 



#14 MMB

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Posted 22 March 2014 - 11:01 PM

This is a funny thread. Personally I think theres nothing wrong with having old work laying around. My parents still use a lot of my stuff from college, sure its not perfect, but they still cherish it. We are our worst critics as artists so even in our best work we will see failure. I keep most things that I find of "use" but the things that were tests and really serve no purpose go to the Graveyard. Its a pile that sits in the far back right corner of my families property. I usually dont take my truck when bringing things. I make it a point to take the long walk while holding such items before the final throw.



#15 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 23 March 2014 - 11:23 PM

OK this is at the same time the funniest and embarrassing reencounter of an old piece. It defines the need for the hammer but also can keep us humble and shows we all start from somewhere..
Attached File  selsorcarbondatedsmall.jpg   39.1KB   3 downloadsThis was posted above the sink in my classroom by a student who cam across one of my very first teapots in california in possession of an old classmate from 1967.The pot was made in Philadelphia as a sophomore in college. I kept this posted above the sink for years. I think it is one of my most cherished possessions.I had to wait til I was home because it is one my larger laptop.
I added a slightly closer view. I hope you can read the writing. My students had a good sense of humor.


Marcia

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#16 Babs

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 04:22 AM

OK this is at the same time the funniest and embarrassing reencounter of an old piece. It defines the need for the hammer but also can keep us humble.
attachicon.gifselsorcarbondatedsmall.jpgThis was posted above the sink in my classroom by a student who cam across one of my very first teapots in california in possession of an old classmate from 1967.The pot was made in Philadelphia as a sophomore in college. I kept this posted above the sink for years. I think it is one of my most cherished possessions.I had to wait til I was home because it is one my larger laptop.

Marcia

Love the sepia look!

Really ancient potter! Sorry I mean pot..

:D Think you may just have a year on me! :D  :D  :D

Still in one piece must have been made well.

The pot.

 

 

And the potter!



#17 Benzine

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 09:54 PM

Awesome message Marcia!
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#18 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 10:48 PM

Students enjoyed it and I hope it inspired them to keep practicing.
Marcia

#19 Evelyne Schoenmann

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:07 AM

What's wrong with that pot?

 

;)


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#20 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:51 AM

I think the form is visually bottom heavy and the spout is clunky.( self critic)

This teapot is more representational of what I have been making since I improved after learning to throw better
and it pours well.

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