Clay Catastrophes~What to do with them?

2011-09-08_13-13-17_939As John un-bricks the kiln and begins to pull out the freshly fired pottery in front of a large group of people who are totally unaware of the drama before them, he sees a huge crack and deftly puts that pot on a shelf behind him. No one catches his grimace.

Sometimes, though, the flaw isn’t easily hidden and we have to face our customers holding a glaring mistake with no time to absorb the discovery. We do need time to let go of our disappointment and learn from this so we can avoid it in the next firing. Or just get humbled by the vagaries of the pottery life. But instead, we go through this with an audience.

The question comes up often in the gallery: “Where are your seconds?”

The answer is: Hidden. Hidden until we have one of our two Second Sales, one in May (5/25) and one in September (9/7).

I like to think of them as Hidden Treasures. The flaws are glaring to us, but small to others, and they become treasures to those who know how to appreciate the work even with a glaze that didn’t meet our standards, or that teeny tiny chip on a foot.

Yes, I like our second sale mostly for that reason. They are treasures. We can sell them to people who will love them and give them as gifts, the flaws are so small.

We clear off our selves to make room for more, because we are always making more. That is that Good News-Bad News scenario we are often confronted with.

What about the pieces that John hates?

They go on the shard pile, and John gets the honor of smashing them. Sometimes it’s the only thing to do. No matter what anyone else thinks, he doesn’t want anyone to know he made it.

It also keeps us honest. The quality in the showroom is very important to us. I have to admit it’s not always easy to accept, but it feels so good when we go through the shelves and pull out the ‘didn’t quite make it’ pottery.


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