S & M But Not the Dirty Kind

Apr 16 2012

Well not dirty in a deviant way but surely dirty in a clay way.  Every Ceramicist I know MUST be a sado masochist in the dirty clay way.  There are a million and one things that can go wrong every step of the way in the ceramics process.  Even tried and true ways never work when you do them.  A glaze you’ve used for six months all of a sudden flips you off and does whatever the heck it wants to do.  The clay body you’ve been using for four years comes mixed wrong and only in the final firing after hours of love and affection, shows two different colored swirls in it showing the pugmill that mixed your clay body wasn’t cleaned properly and you have a vanilla / pina colada swirl in your plate.  

Today’s misfortune?  I got a kiln wash recipe off of the web — no names will be named but it is an internationally reputable site.  Kiln wash is what you use on your kiln shelves so that if glaze crawls off of your piece onto the kiln shelf, you aren’t out $30 (or manhours grinding the glaze off), you just have to pull the kiln wash and the piece off of the shelf and then re-kiln wash your shelf.  My new kiln wash that oodles of people have used to positive effect according to the internet cracked off in a heap of little white shards in the first firing (not supposed to do that — major disaster alert!)   

So, here’ s the S&M thing about it.  We clay addicts go BACK!  We try again.  We make more pieces.  We love to set ourselves up for more torture.  We cry.  We stomp the ground.  We hammer our abominations to smithereens.  We grind off little shards of kiln wash off of ten brand new kiln shelves and re-mix a new formula of kiln wash and spend all day painting shelves.  

And then the next day, how or why we do it is unknown, we get out of bed and go back to the studio for more punishment.