Sunday, March 27, 2011

Making Pots

I think that every teenager in American should have to take pottery for at least one semester in Junior High or High School, like they have to have three semesters on French or Spanish.  The lessons learned from the highs and lows of the process will be immeasurably more valuable than being able to order a croissant at the local bakery or a Dos Equis in Tijuana during Spring Break.  It would also ensure that most customers would know the value of a pot that is hand thrown or built with loving care.

A previously posted list of the steps it takes to get just one pot made is in my blog list somewhere, but I only recall listing those steps that are taken when things go right.  It didn't talk about the thing that can go wrong, beginning with a customer wanting something for a holiday that is just 4 weeks away.  Can it be done? Well, yes, theoretically, if the potter is a production potter and makes 20-50 pots a day or more and can turn over multiple kiln loads in a short time, with assistants.  Most studio potters works on a much more spread out schedule, and depending on how they glaze fire, may only produce 4 very large kiln loads a year.

Then there is the possibility (read probability) that something happens to the kiln (like a burner going out), or in the kiln (like a pot with undetected air bubbles exploding leaving itself stuck in the glaze of all the other pots) or...????  The possibilities are staggering even in the best hands.

All I am saying is, be kind to your potter.  He/she loves the clay and the fire and the possibility that something he/she made will make you happy. 

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