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Ceramics classes are a reminder that grief isn't a thing that subsides with time. It follows its own course. I am nonetheless grateful to be there among the ghosts and memories. Yesterday L gave us a brief tour/reminder about how glazing is managed in the studio. Discussion about the Purple Haze glaze (mostly phased out) brought back so many twinges of memories from what pieces I used it on. One of my goals at some point is to learn the glaze recipes because of connections between the glazes and pieces I've used them on, and their association with Bridget's work.*

Ceramics classes are also a place where my hopes and ambitions are quickly and regularly tempered by concrete reality. I have ideas for a couple more projects I want to work on, and I had hoped to get underway with them last night. Instead, I spent the entire time trimming pieces and attaching handles to mugs.

I have been watching this artist's YouTube videos lately, and now I'm envious of his trimming tools. Mine felt barely adequate after all that. But I'm also grateful for his demonstration of how to pull handles because it helped me pull some nice handles, for once. Usually I just completely hate the process of pulling and attaching handles.

The hard part with once-a-week ceramics classes, and with throwing and trimming in particular, is that clay doesn't always follow a predictable drying schedule. The three large bowls that I threw 2 weeks ago were still slightly too wet to trim, but by next week they'd probably be too dry. So then it was extra fussy to trim them.

Meanwhile, the porcelain pieces that I threw last week were at just about the right stage for trimming. On the other hand, they weren't easy to trim due to their irregular shapes. Porcelain, ahem. So then by the time I wrapped that up, it was getting late and my pulled handles were a bit too dry to attach properly, argh.

So who knows how much will come from all that effort. Never count your ceramics pieces until after they've come out of the (glaze) kiln. Even then, ceramics is a temporary reshaping of earth and glass, easily shattered. Eventually one must let go.

*Bridget's main work involved china painting, but she also developed some of her own glazes, including one of my favorites, Cherie Jade, still in use at the studio. I am sure the remaining glazes in use at the studio have other equally interesting stories and histories attached to them. Glazes can have as much personality and legacy as different clay bodies.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1220475.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


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