Ceramic Artists Guide to Perseverance
Ceramic artists need to be resilient, be able to bounce back from calamity quickly and most of all persevere…as the art of pottery is not for those who quit easily.
Disaster can strike the inexperienced and the experienced ceramic artist, leading to broken pottery dreams in your studio. These ceramic disasters could be from something as simple as a speed wobble while walking which leads to a dropped piece, or a bad result from storing material incorrectly. A piece could simply explode in the kiln if not bone dry when inserted, if the chemistry of the clay and glaze is off – there goes the even coating in a not so nice shivering effect.
The list of possible detrimental problems that could happen when one is making a piece of ceramic art is seemingly endless, but the artistic result and therefore reward is greater.
The Reasons to Persevere
Failure is to be expected with ceramics, with there being a multitude of ways things could go pear shaped.
So why continue with this trying and difficult art form? Clay is an amazing medium that lends itself to any shape or form, though it is notorious for its difficult nature. The sheer anticipation of the wait, of opening that kiln door and seeing your work completed is entirely worth the sweat and time it took to finally get the piece to work out.
The reason to persevere is simple – your growth as an artist depends on it and I would place good money that I’d otherwise wager at horse racing betting sites on that being a bigger reason to persevere than a broken piece being a reason to quit.
How to Persevere
Many talented artists take the forensic investigator route, they do not focus on the failure but instead dissect the reason for the failure of the piece. How did this piece fail, what was the problem, can it be fixed? By retracing your steps and tracing the root cause of what caused the failure you can avoid the same error in the future.
Asides from gorgeous pieces of art, one of the main take away a ceramic artist can get is a greater level of patience and resilience – the ability to bounce back from failures. This also means that artists have the ability to experiment and create new things, working from the patience and resilience they instilled in themselves by repeatedly trying and failing one hundred times before.
The Reward for Perseverance
Though you may go through many batches of pots, numerous failed firings, hopefully not to many dropped art pieces (twice should be the max) and at times the concept could just fail…the reward is there to be found at the end.
As mentioned above, you learn a great many things as a ceramic artist, at the top of the list is patience and bettering your artistic skills. But the biggest reward of them all, is the ability to deal with failure and bounce back for more and become a true master artist.