Saturday, June 14, 2008

Irritated and Annoyed

If this post had been titled two days ago, it would have been called 'disgusted and depressed'.
Yesterday, I would have said 'angry and frustrated'.
Clearly, I have cooled off a bit.
The reason for my distress is this:broken bowl in the garbage can
And this:atrocious tan color
And this:pasty, un-fluxed white, ghastly blue
And this:grainy, yucky off-white, thin background color
You would think that at this point in my career I would stop having seconds and failures, but no...

I still try new techniques with reckless abandon, new forms with irrational hope, new glazes with stupendous enthusiasm. (Something about the sound of that word ‘stupendous’, that seems to apply here).
The problem is, I anticipate every firing with expectations of the perfect manifestation of my most delirious imaginings of my latest experiment. It is, of course, inevitable that disappointment will materialize pretty much instantly upon unloading the kiln. Mournful, paralyzing gloom ensues, sometimes for days.

I know, I know, I should be ready for a percentage of failures. Yes, I have been doing this for years and years.

But this series has had nothing but misfortune from the start.

First, I used the wrong clay for my little baby tags (not porcelain after all) and they are ugly tan.

Then, Mick mistakenly glazed un-bisqued bowls and they melted on the spot (bye-bye, negotiating chickens bowl).

And the glazes for the dinner plates needed to be sieved (hello little chunks of crud).

And the glaze was too thin on some pieces, not beautiful at all.

Also, the wrong test glaze was applied to my new chicken plates, pasty and opaque.

Plus, the lamp bases were overfired and slumped badly.

Time to bring in the special forces crew.

Oh well, my blue & white tile almost always come out perfect. :)


Actually, this cow had uneven eyes originally, so I put glasses on her and added little bird blathering away in her ear. Now she is an intellectual cow.

Shadow Cat knows how I feel:

I get knocked down, but I get up again.

The song is catchy, but irritating, and I love the Office, but these clips aren't the best quality.
I won't feel badly if you don't stick around for the whole two minutes.

Oh, wait, I just watched it's pretty funny.


  1. Oh, how frustrating.

    I used to work testing software written by terrific programmers, terribly talented and creative people, and a large part of my job was convincing them, when something didn't work right, that it really didn't work. It was not easy. I concluded that people who do really brilliant work like that simply *have* to believe it will all work, or they would never experiment so much and figure out new ways of doing things.

    I bet in the course of all this you learned new things, which will manifest gloriously sometime soon!

  2. Oh my! I hate to say it, but I think most of the work here is still pretty amazing! I hope things start looking up.

    Oh and guess what song I have playing over and over in my head?

  3. Oh! My sympathies and commiserations. I REALLY hate too-thin glaze and clumps. Also hate the random dark flecks that land in a white bowl after the kiln's closed and who knows where it comes from. As a young pup, it makes me feel strangely better (but only a tiny little bit!) to know that you have these production issues, too.

  4. WHAT? I think your pieces are lovely, despite the annoyance from the crafter. ;)

    We are our biggest critic, yes?

    LOVE the tile. You are simply amazing, Barb! :)

  5. You are all cheering me up enormously! Thanks!

    Dale- sadly, I think I have learned these things before...But I appreciate being compared to brilliant and talented people! You were comparing me, right? :)

    Mrs. French- hahahahahahahahaha

    Brigmanpottery- glad to be of service. And I forgot to mention the little flecks that land on things after the lid is closed; yeah, that happened too.

    Design for mankind- what a nice thing to say! Thank you!

  6. This is the first time I have seen your work and I think it's just beautiful anyway. So we all make "mistakes" but it often leads to even better things.


  7. If I had 1/4 of your talent, I still wouldn't be able to create those pieces--I thought they were lovely, even the tan ones (I thought they looked more 'ecru', anyways).

    That video made my day. Dwight K. Schrute is my soulmate.

  8. *Love* the intellectual cow. And I keep waiting to be some kind of expert at sewing. It's yet to happen :\

  9. Oh I feel your pain! Sometimes - actually a lot of times - I see something in my mind and then try to sew it and it so not as fabulous as what I thought! But then that gem comes thorugh sometimes and it all worth it!

  10. Thanks so much for posting this blog! I sometimes feel that I'm the only one that feels this way! Something that works great 99% of the time may just completely backfire that 1% with no explanation. We ALL get irritated and annoyed :)

  11. I feel your pain. How many times have we all been there.
    Just remember, we learn from the mistakes-it helps to perfect our work. :)


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