In the studio ~ the good and the bad

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A lovely batch of unfired ceramics, unfortunately all with irreparable cracks.

Running my own ceramics studio is a wonderful job ~ I love coming here and getting my hands dirty, being creative and making beautiful objects from a lump of clay. I love having the time to raise my little one and being flexible to choose when I am in the studio. Making my own rules and controlling my own future in business.

But running your own business also comes with a flipside. It can be hard. Stressful. Difficult. Emotional. Things don’t always go as planned with ceramics, which is part of the nature and part of why us potters love it SO much when we open the kiln to beautiful, perfect work. When you work with pottery, they can crack or break at any point of the creation process. Glazes can turn out different than expected, firings can go wrong, you can loose weeks of work in moments.

These last few weeks in the studio have been particularly tough going. I have been trialling new clays only to find that ALL the pieces we made, have bad and irreparable cracks in them. The above photo being just a small portion of work that had to be recycled.

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Porcelain bud vases, appearing with severe cracks during drying.

Furthermore, my trusty old clay that I have been using for years now, have started to show problems also. Around 90% of my porcelain bud vases are now appearing with rather spectacular cracks during drying.

The reason? It’s hard to say. We have slowly been eliminating all reasons that can play a part ~ weather, temperature, even and slow drying, our methods of rolling and shaping the clay. All these little elements together playing a major factor in how a piece turns out. The porcelain I use for the gorgeous bud vases can be particularly sensitive to any change and needs to be treated with much respect and patience to achieve a good outcome. It may even just be down to this batch of clay.

Slowly we are moving forward and trying to leave the bad times behind. It can be discouraging at times, but opening the door to a fresh batch of perfectly fired, shiny ceramics makes it all worthwhile! I still love my job, and wouldn’t have any other way 😉

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