23 February 2018

Patience of the Potter

There are many aspects of pottery that teach the potter about patience.

First and most important is the forming of the pot whether on the wheel or by hand.  A steady rate of spin or a considered handling of the hand formed piece is crucial for a good outcome.

Next is the slow drying process - whatever the size or style trying to rush this process with almost always result in cracks.

The kiln firing also needs patience... again firing too high too quickly will result in cracks or even explosions...

Then there is the glazing process - each piece needs just the right amount of glaze then needs to dry and have its bases wiped clear of glaze residue so that it doesn't stick to the kiln shelf.

And we are not done yet!  Once the kiln has fired to temperature there is another wait while the kiln cools.  Again, rush this process and you are likely to have a poor glaze result or again cracks.

Even then the results are not guaranteed - this little jug looks pretty but drips when pouring so it won't be for sale.  I'll keep it for a while and try making a better one and then this one will be destroyed. 



I will once again be practising patience tomorrow as I wait for the kiln to cool from my latest glaze firing which took place today...

Have a lovely weekend

6 comments:

smartcat said...

It’s a sweet little pitcher even if it drips.
I never count on a pot until it’s cool, out of the kiln, and in my hands.

Anna said...

Hi Smartcat thank you. I was thinking it was too until I tried pouring with it. Ah well - mark II is bound to be better though as you say no use counting on it until it is out of the kiln and in your hands.

Barbara R. said...

I think all of us in clay work are here to learn patience, as well as a lot of other good things!

Anna said...

Hi Barbara - you are right - I've learnt a few lessons from pottery - even those of social interaction while sharing in a classroom situation

Linda Starr said...

Small pitchers are so useful. Sometimes pottery can be so disappointing but somehow we always seem to go back, perhaps it's the challenge.

Anna said...

Hi Linda yes I think it is the constant challenges that keep us hooked on making with clay - searching for the perfect pot!