Monday, January 31, 2011

A woe filled tale of two hearts


Ok, this is the tale of many hearts that came out of my last firing. But a tale of two hearts just sounded so much better. Kind of like the title of some gothic romance novel.

But not these hearts up there in the sweet circle. I am perfectly happy with these. They are made of a chocolately stone ware clay that I found in my studio the other day. The clay is lots of years old and left over from an ancient tile project. I pressed and cut these hearts from a scaled up version of the photo polymer plates that I showed you here.


But these hearts in porcelain? I am not so happy. Love the glaze. It's actually a very ugly glaze that I've given a little twist. But that twist is entirely off topic and I like to be on track. See those arrows up there? There are flaws in the porcelain. Teeny, tiny little surface cracks. Nothing structural. Doesn't show up until after final kiln firing. I don't like them.

But I can fix it (I think :-). Not these hearts. They are done. They are toast. It all has to do with how these hearts get made. And I kinda stuffed up. There's another step that needs to happen in making these. I say this with great confidence but it's really just another step in the process of working with a new method of making. It's entirely possible the whole thing could get scrapped. But if I can fix this up I will be mighty happy because I really like the impressions these photopolymer plates make.


And here is a totally unrelated error in the porcelain hearts. It's a little tiny blister in the glaze. These reds are so prone to it. It annoys me because I really, really like this colour. Which is weird because I am not a red/pink kind of girl. If you look very closely I think you will find some of those tiny little cracks in these hearts too.


And this one too, has those bitty cracks. This is like having the gauntlet thrown down. There's a problem here. How do I fix that? It's a challenge. How do I solve this problem. It's a bit of what keeps me coming back to the studio. If it were all easy and worked out perfectly each time, I'd get sooooo bored.

I'm curious. What do you do when you have a set back when you try something new?

14 comments:

Laura Twiford said...

Well, after the initial letdown like someone just popped my balloon, I usually just try again, tweaking the process just like you said until it comes out right. It can be discouraging at times but there is such satisfaction when it works! Good Luck.

Spirited Earth said...

i just ignore the set back and keep going..the blistering glazed pieces might need to be in a hotter spot in the kiln..the porcelain cracking i think is a stretch "mark". it happens with my non porcelain clay when it's gotten a tad dry before"punching " a hole. the pressure disturbs the direction of the clays interconnecting plates...or something like that.

TesoriTrovati said...

A problem like this is an opportunity to shine. To work through what didn't work and find something that will. But really? I don't see a thing wrong with these. I am more about the imperfect than the perfect. Will these bust in two? Or crumble to bits? Are they less strong? Or is it more of an aesthetic thing? I think they are lovely and you know I will take your so-called rejects any day!
Enjoy the day, LeAnn!
Erin

Anna Lear said...

Great question. I don't deal well with setbacks initially; I retreat and mope for a bit, go through a "why do I bother - I am SO uncreative" tantrum, and then, eventually, decide to try again with a few tweaks. I wish I could skip the first 2 steps but at least I make it through nowadays instead of just giving up. I like how you're approaching your current issue as a creative challenge; of course to me these hearts are gorgeous, but I understand that feeling of "I can do better!" So, enjoy the challenge!

For My Sweet Daughter said...

Oh my gosh these are beautiful! Flaws and all I would take them in a heart beat. Especially since those flaws look like they are aesthetic and not structural. Send them my way and I show you what a damaged little heart can do!!! ;-)

lunedreams said...

LOVE that blue and olive green glaze!! And I esp. love the denim blue hearts at the top. You sound like a woman on a mission. It's just a matter of time before you conquer these annoying quirks in your materials!

mairedodd said...

depends - i either go at it right away... or i step back and work through the process... but i don't let it shoo me off of learning... i am proud to say that i have grown in that way...
your pieces are so lovely - i love the aqua on the stoneware... and i have to agree about that salmony color - it is lovely!
good luck -

sundownbeaddesigns said...

Set backs...we all have them at one time or another. Usually by the time I have determined that things are not going as planned, I'm totally frustrated! I walk away...and revisit the "set back" another day. Sometimes success...sometimes not. Just got to keep plugging:)

Mary Newton Designs said...

Ssshhhh-no one can see those mistakes but you!

Marsha Neal Studio (Marsha's Garden Blog, Marsha Minutella) said...

I have a few things I do with setbacks…
1. Put pieces that I know are not perfect into a bin for a while. Maybe I can use them in some concrete stepping stone project - I refuse to sell "seconds" - just decreases the value of my work that is out there…
2. Try and try again. Ask friend for advice. Google it…
3. If I get really discouraged, I just put it aside and move onto something new.

It gets hard when you only have so much time to spend in the studio. And as you know - when the clay doesn't want to play, and you are getting into a bad mood - it's best to squirt some water on it, wrap it up, then go do something else productive (like eat chocolate, have a cup of coffee, read a book or catch up with blogs and friends, go for a walk or at least watch birds if you are lucky enough to have some visiting close to the windows)...

sharon said...

I usually back off for a while and rethink, or re attempt, with a new day, a new mind.
These are really lovely though, the teeny teeny imperfections you point out are really not a problem to most of us, we love them , teeny cracks and all!

stregata said...

Sometimes I keep trying - if I still can't get past the problem - I put it aside and leave it be for awhile, think it through again - and then have a fresh try.
Sometimes - I rethink the process - how to achieve the result, using a different approach.
I know you will solve this problem. And that glaze is something gorgeous.

Studio Sylvia said...

Despite the ‘flaws', I think these hearts are terrific - love the texture and colour, LeAnn. I will have another go, if the result isn’t what it should be, I will put the piece aside and just let the problem stay on the back burner. I won’t sell flaws either - pride gets in the way of that.

Drawn to The Sea said...

You know me, I love the pale blue ones... as for flaws, that's what makes life perfect.

:-)
Peaceful day,
Julia~