Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Every now and again it occurs to me that in a simplistic way, every thing I do in pottery is a test, a step toward what I am trying to achieve and there sure are a lot of test pods, teacups and teabowls that have been broken up to prove it. I think it is not necessarily fair to say that making more pots to get better is a test but rather making more pots to make glazes like what I actually want and see in my mind's eye qualifies quite a few pieces as tests. I was thinking about just this point this morning as I took a wonky, altered teabowl and covered it in a thicker coating of porcelain slip while not being 100% sure the slip will adhere well to the clay body. If I were using my own stoneware and porcelain clay bodies instead of commercially available versions I could be 99% sure of the end results as I had worked that issue out back in the early 1990s but today, it is just a test. Overall the porcelain slip is not terribly thick but in spots it is well over a quarter of an inch and more so I will have to wait and see what the results are out of the bisque and then glaze firings. The truth is that it keeps a potter honest and constantly on his toes not knowing exactly what is going to happen, though repetition is important for production, giving in to ceramic fate, testing will get you where you want to go and if not it can simply be the pathway to another journey.