Monday, October 19, 2009

Yeah, but you should see the other guy

When I talk to people about my pottery, they often seem most interested in knowing about things exploding during kiln firing. How does it happen? Does it happen a lot? I usually say that while it is a risk, the reasons for its happening are not that mysterious, and are mostly avoidable, thereby putting a damper on the most fascinating aspect of the conversation.
But when working in a communal setting, where kiln loading and firing are done by someone else, and there is work in each batch done by many different people, the chances of a mishap are harder to calculate. And so I offer this photo of a couple of recent casualties sustained by yours truly. The gist of what happened seems to be that a thick-walled, perhaps insufficiently dry piece ( somebody else's ) was fired in close proximity to these mug shapes, which show the sort of fussy, laborious decorative scheme on the theme of waves that I have in mind right now. When that piece exploded, it took mine out too. Weirdly, these two mugs look like they were sliced by a guillotine down the middle, much neater than I would have expected. I am kicking myself right now for not taking a picture of the piece that caused the explosion, because it was literally in smithereens, and could not have been a more perfect, sensationalistic illustration of what the people really want to see sometimes.

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