I started off 2018 with a very rude awakening.
A very dear friend had commissioned me to make teapots and cups for his daughter and sister for Christmas presents. He gave me this project late into the season and knew that the pieces couldn't be delivered until after Christmas but was willing to wait. I was able to get them started as soon as my Open Studio was over. I was excited to be able to deliver the 2 teapots and their 4 matching cups this week.
Needless to say all didn't go as planed. When I put the pieces into the final glaze kiln they looked perfect. When I sneaked a peek ,as the kiln was cooling,I gasp in horror. What the HELL had happened? I still don't know...they were pocked with craters, the white under glaze was grey, the scratched through designs unrecognizable in the mess. I was mortified and embarrassed. Devastated that 3 weeks of work was wrecked (get the hammer wrecked) and that I was going to have to tell my patient friend that it would be another 3 weeks until I could deliver his order.
I had, however, not finished 2 teapots and 4 cups as "insurance" in case the first 4 had a mishap. With my confidence very shaken I re-under glazed , re-decorated and took an extra step that i had never taken before.... I re-bisqued these already bisqued pots... thinking that maybe this would eliminate the transparent problem. Feeling without much hope, I glazed them and fired them a third time. This morning I shyly opened the cooled kiln and HALLELUJAH ! The kiln gods had smiled and the pots were better than my rather low expectations..They were PERFECT!
Sometimes ceramics lessons learn are HARD. I lost 4 precious pots and 16 cups but learned a new technique (the extra bisque) that will hopefully take the guess work out of future projects. Ceramics...sometimes I LOVE you, sometimes I HATE you.