After yesterday’s biscuit firing I washed everything today, ready for glazing*. During this process I had a chance for a moment’s contemplation as this is the first time in a while that I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my throwing. The pieces feel lighter and more consistent in thickness… some real progress. Recently someone gave me some advice about throwing with softer clay for wider pieces such as plates and this has been really helpful.

As I have mentioned before, with potting there always seems to some kind of humbling element just to keep you in check. With this firing I have been reminded that rushing things is never a good idea… We will be without electricity early next week so I knew I needed to get a biscuit firing and one glaze firing done before then. I over packed the kiln and some pieces were not as dry as they should have been. I thought I had allowed for this by adding some preheat time to the already slow firing schedule… well I suppose that two breakages out of a total 77 pots isn’t too bad. Here’s hoping the survivors make it through their glaze firings ready for Ministry of Craft on 6 December.


I must say that although I am really enjoying progressing my existing work I sometimes find it difficult to resist the urge to develop new ideas. I’ve got page after page of sketches that I’m itching to try out… I’m looking forward to experimenting in the New Year, when hopefully things will be a little quieter.

*It is important to brush, sponge or wash off of any dust from the first firing to ensure glaze adheres well. Also before washing I like to sand the bases and rims to remove any rough spots.


10 thoughts on “Reflecting

    • Thanks Yvette. It’s good when hard work pays off… even better when you love the hard work! I’m not too bothered about the odd piece breaking, just one of those things, but I think it’s important for people to see that not everything works out. As long as it doesn’t always happen 😉

  1. Hi Juliet,
    2 out of 77 isn’t bad going is it but every loss is a disappointment. I always feel this, almost all my losses come at the final stage after literally hours of work and more frustrating still when they’re broken in transit to a customer and you have to make a replacement – double the time for half the money. Who’d be a potter! eh? 🙂
    It’s good to look back over the year. I am amazed at how much I have done in just a year. You must think this too. Here’s to an equally absorbing, challenging and fruitful year to come.
    All the best,


  2. A friend told me, when I first started doing clay: Don’t fall in love until it’s all, totally, done.

    And I added to that: You can fall in love then, but – You can always drop it and break it.

    We repeat these things often Then we always start laughing. Because – you know why!

  3. It’s too bad that those two cracked. They’re too pretty and it’s obvious that they took lots of time and care to make.

    Also, I really appreciate your post because I has a very similar crack in a similar shaped pot and your reasoning gives me hope that perhaps my construction wasn’t the problem.

  4. I love the way your pots look. Very simple and elegant. I also love the way you’re open to reflecting and learning. One thing I have learned in potting is that being open of mind and willing to learn from the clay and the glaze and the finished pots is so imperative.

    Nice blog. Great work.

    • Thank you for your kind comments Brian. It’s been a great journey so far… with all its ups and downs. I’m struggling to get back into the studio at the moment as it’s so cold here. Wishing you continued success with your 50th birthday present.

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