Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kissed by the kiln

Hip, hip, hooray! Last year, I submitted photos of three vases to Lark Books for consideration in their publication 500 Vases. Yesterday, I got a letter saying one of the images was accepted--my first pot in print. This is such good news, I'm not going be bothered that the two pots that were rejected are more representative of my current aesthetic than the pot that was accepted.

A few years ago, when my throwing skills were finally good enough for me to tell the clay what to do instead of vice versa, I gave myself an assignment to learn to make round things with narrow necks. It was a great exercise. When I was done, I glazed all the bisque ware with Pinell's Weathered Bronze and yielded the collection to the Cone 9 kiln gods at Claymakers. But wouldn't you know it, after I had gone through all that effort to make symmetric round things with narrow necks, the glaze came out uneven. It had dripped and run, and there was a stripe cutting across this particular pot because the kiln had fired unevenly.

As I was busy being disgruntled, looking at my collection of pots that had turned out all wrong, my teacher and friend, Leonora Coleman, walked by and started oohing and ahhing about how the glaze had come out uneven, how it had dripped and run, how there was a stripe cutting across this particular pot because the kiln had fired unevenly. "What serendipity! You couldn't repeat that if you tried!"

I have, of course, spent much of my potting time since then trying to make pots that look wonky and more fluid--a delightful path of self-discovery that has helped me come to terms with and finally accept being an uptight control freak. The other round pots with narrow necks have long since moved on to other homes, but this particular pot is still with me, reminding me of Leonora and of how there are all sorts of ways to let go.

(Photos by Laura Korch)

3 comments:

Mom said...

Beautiful (the blog post and the pot).

Lisa B. said...

Amen, on both counts.

mom2homer said...

Thanks, y'all!