I laugh at life. It is so funny at times . . . even when it makes you want to pull out your hair.
Yesterday I got a call from Matt, my mentor and wood-firing partner. As you know from previous posts, the firing we were to do together last weekend was canceled. Much stress, doubt and frustration followed. Matt had another firing scheduled for the 20th, but it was for the bulk of his own work and his students. I then organized a gas firing with my studio mates so I could fire my work that was to go in the wood kiln, since much of it was already glazed for high-fire. Matt’s call yesterday brought news that he had space for my work in the wood kiln, maybe even two slots. Woohoo and oh sh#&. Will I have enough work particularly in light of the gas firing the weekend before? Who cares. Just do it. Right?
I have built my year around electric firing and working on my glazes and getting the right combinations to fit my forms. Of course, I am always refining. And I have always intended to have two lines of my work: one mid-range electric with colorful glazes and the other high-fired with earthy, variegated surfaces. I just thought I would be more methodical about it. Instead, I feel like I am in this whirlwind of kiln roulette – spin the wheel and watch the pots go round and round. Where will they land? electric? gas? wood? no one knows.
I realize that my fellow potter friends don’t really have to deal with the issues I have experienced these last two weeks because they have made their choice of firing method. The breadth of firing and glaze possibilities I have available available to me is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. I know I need to select a few combinations of glazes and firing techniques and stick with them to tighten my body of work. But it is like being a kid in a candy shop at times. I want it all and choosing is hard.
Over the next few days, I will be resorting my pots (again) and trying to create a thread of consistency from this chaos. I have asked my gas firing mates to make more work and bring others in (the more the merrier right?) so I can create a balance in my body of work between electric, gas and wood. Barring any further change in plans, I will be documenting both firing processes and results here so you can let me know if I succeeded in creating clarity out of chaos.