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Babs

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

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Babs    386

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?

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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.

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Denice    243

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

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TJR    359

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.

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Davidpotter    8

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.

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Tyler Miller    331

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.

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Babs    386

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... :)

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PSC    54

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.

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AnnaM    15

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

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Wyndham    98

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

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Babs    386

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. :) 

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MMB    17

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.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

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..

post-1954-0-50404300-1395634929_thumb.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.

I added a slightly closer view. I hope you can read the writing. My students had a good sense of humor.

 

 

Marcia

post-1954-0-77168000-1395671067_thumb.jpg

post-1954-0-50404300-1395634929_thumb.jpg

post-1954-0-77168000-1395671067_thumb.jpg

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Babs    386

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!

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

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.

post-1954-0-81014500-1395751885_thumb.jpg

post-1954-0-81014500-1395751885_thumb.jpg

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karenm54    0

in a workshop with phil rogers past work came up. he said that as long as someone enjoyed the pot, let them. that, as someone earlier in the thread said, by diminishing what they enjoy you are diminishing them in a way. if they found something to enjoy in the pot, that something is still there, no matter how your skills have progressed. it makes sense, but i couldn't help but cringe when i saw an old bowl of mine on display in my mother in laws house. yikes. 

 

i've been searching for a lot of old work from school, missing somewhere for close to ten years now. my mom emailed me last week and said she found two boxes of it. one was labeled 'bad pots' and the other was 'pretty good pots'. i can't wait to see what my idea of good pots was! quite awful i'm sure! i was no natural at throwing, i see many people's first pots way nicer than my own were.

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Pugaboo    438

When I started selling my paintings I would point out every little thing I felt was wrong with a painting if someone was looking at it to buy. Then one day my husband told me to stop, he said they like the painting just the way it is so if they don't see what you think is wrong with it let them just enjoy it. Once he said that it made me think you know he's right if they love a painting enough to want to buy it who am I to tell them I think the angle on that wall or the shadow under that tree is not quite perfect. After that I learned to create the art and release it into the world to live its own life with the person that loved it enough to adopt it. I mean even ugly puppies get adopted and loved so why not art?

 

Terry

PS. This does not mean I don't judge and edit myself and my work I do I just don't do it after I have decided to sell or have sold it. The woulda shoulda couldas will drive you crazy.

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