Monday, 31 October 2011

What do you do it all goes wrong?

For several weeks now I've been focused on working. Usually, because my studio is small and my kiln is also quite small I keep work moving through the kiln. However, over the past couple of months I have just been bisque firing. Whilst I was in this mode I just happened to run out of ochre for producing orange. My two main colours are green and orange. I bought many of my oxides and stains in the early seventies when they were cheap and they have lasted well. Anyway, when the orange ran out I got another tub of something that looked the same. However, at the end of last week when I eventually did a glaze firing I found that they were definitely not the same. You can see how awful the result is on the pot on the left.
I am horrified and at the moment I am not sure how much work is spoilt but I suspect pretty much all of it. There is no point wasting nervous energy getting upset I've just got to get on and keep working. Some of the work was for commissions so that may need to be re-done.
Having had such a bad experience I found it very interesting watching a little film of Greyson Perry talking about his work. The bit at the end about anticipating work coming out of the kiln struck a cord - see what you think the link is here.


  1. I've just had my "always turns out right no matter what you do with it glaze" not work for the first time in 3 years!

    Fortunately every thing else seemed to work, so it's not too bad.

    But yes, it's always terrifying/magical when the kiln door opens isn't it?

  2. Thanks for turning me on to the Tate videos. Yea, I could really relate to the bit at the end about anticipating what's coming out of the kiln, and then being disappointed. My husband says I always have an "image in my head" that doesn't meet with reality. Ha! Nice to know I'm in good company!... Margaret, I'm sorry about your orange and the kiln load. Been there. Hope things smooth out.

  3. I think Greyson has it right, just remember that you may like it later when the disappointment of it not being what you expected wears off.

  4. oh thats just shattering!!! The mysteries of what's in the cupboard M it may be time to test everything and have a clean out...I so hope you get through this disappointment phase....

  5. I'm so sorry. I had a few disappointments out of the kiln today, too. I know it doesn't compare but I feel your pain.