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  1. One of the things I notice in a nearby art center, in my workshops and here on this forum is a definite desire to "Do it Right". Potters would love a clay that suits all needs, a glaze that fits this clay and techniques that work every time. ( Unfortunately that is a dream world ) The one thing no one wants to do is FAIL. Failure has become such a toxic notion that people want to avoid it at all costs. BUT ... I would bet that every experienced potter in the world has learned more from failure than they ever have from success. Open that kiln and see a load of ugly and after you pick yourself up, you can learn a lot about glazes. Get a drying rack full of s-cracks and you learn about throwing the bottom of a pot as well as the sides and top. Have a glaze run all over your shelf and you learn to put experiments on spill plates or bowls. Listen to a load ping all day and you learn about glaze fit. Fire the glaze recipe that looked so good elsewhere and find it looks nothing like that from your kiln and you learn about firing schedules. Might I propose the notion that failure is fine; it's a learning tool that is not to be avoided. Failure is a lifelong occupational hazard for any potter. If you are not failing, you are not trying anything new. I've been working in clay for a lot of years and as anyone who reads my blog can verify, I failed last week. I will likely fail at something this week and next week. Care to share a failure that resulted in a learning leap?
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