Tuesday, May 30, 2006

firing my kiln


I am firing my kiln today. Even though I have done it 100's of times now, firing is still a very emotionally delicate time for me. I still wonder if the experiments will turn out OK and if the big pieces will be beautiful. And there are still suprises. My kiln is so old and rusty that when I opened it a few firings ago I found that one of the ceramic anchors from the ceiling had actually crashed through the rust into the kiln- by a stroke of fate it missed all the pots even the ones on the top shelf. I'm not the kind of do-it yourself potter who can just go and weld some new metal and rivet etc so I just laid a piece of ceramic fibre over the hole and cross my fingers every time I fire!


I don't like anyone to be around when I open the kiln as I can get so disappointed when pots don't turn out the way I've visualized. Over the years I've learnt to hold back and not destroy anything in this state of mind as, after a week or even a month your mind forgets what it thought the pot should look like and you are more easily able to appreciate what is actually in front of you. By this curious process some of my most bitter failures have become much loved pieces.

6 comments:

patrick said...

Hey Shanny,
You are an inspiration! My blog is live! (gooseberry was already taken, believe it or not...)

Yvonne Ellis said...

Hi Shannon,

How are you getting on with the new designs? You are never far away in my thoughts.
I'm off to the UK for the summer. Yeah, warm beer and long evenings. And maybe a bit of work......
Not sure when we are next back down to the lovely land of Maleny. Will keep you posted......
Love this blog you have gotten going.

With Love

Yvonne

Lilli&Tom said...

When the internal vision takes a physical form its never quite the same as it was imagined, but the power of the physical object has a magical force that the makers themselves often wonder at their creation.

shannon said...

Hi yvonne,
It's so nice to think of people in exotic international locations reading about Maleny!
Look forward to catching up.
sg

shannon said...

Physical objects do have a magical force- that is why I love handmade things, the link between humans is so strong in the handmade object

cheryl said...

Shannon - the beauty of your ceramic work is only matched by the beauty of your inner self. This comes through in the delicate nature of your work and the fragility of the porcelain. Keep working, experimenting and allow us to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Your Daphne is both a immediate joy and a reminder of years past when another little girl stole my heart.