Monday, March 29, 2010
Sometimes I make beads just to feel the clay in my hands. With no real end in sight. This clay hasn’t yet decided what it wants to be. But sometimes I have a whole finished piece of jewelry in mind. Before I can start on the project I have to go through the whole process of making the beads I have in my head. I let them dry before I can get them in the kiln for the first firing. That’s usually not so bad in the middle of summer here. It’s pretty hot and arid so they dry quickly. But in the winter it takes longer. Then there’s the firing, glazing, firing again. Sometimes it turns out just like I had anticipated. Just as often the whole thing, which has a mind of its own, turns out to be something quite different.
A lot of potters refer to opening the kiln as Christmas morning. It really is like that. I can’t tell you how many times when I was starting out, I would open the kiln when it was still too hot. I just couldn’t stand the anticipation any longer. Sometimes the results of that were disastrous. So I’ve learned to force myself to be patient. I usually leave the kiln to cool overnight and open it in my pajamas with my first cup of coffee. One of my favorite things to do.