Thursday, July 26, 2007

Good Bye Dear Mugs

I have a batch of about 12 mugs, which I made in May, that is lost in outer space somewhere. I don't know if I'll ever see them again. Back in April, I was told by an assistant at the pottery facility that they DO fire to cone 6. I verified this with her several times to make sure we were communicating. This was very exciting news because it opened the door to tons of new possibilities with glazes. She even pointed out the shelves where I was supposed to place cone 6 wares ready for firing. Needless to say, I skipped and danced all the way home to make a batch of 12 mugs. I spent over $150 on cone 5/6 glazes. My mind was racing with ideas after ideas on how to decorate with these new colorful glazes on my porcelain bisques. The dancing and skipping, however, was short lived. I brought the glazed mugs back to the pottery facility and placed them on the "cone 6" shelves. Three weeks passed by, no firing. Finally, I got a note taped onto one of my mugs. It said, quite frankly and matter of fact, "we don't fire in cone 6 here." You can imagine my surprise, not to mention major disappointment. I begged the facility manager to make an exception but they wouldn't budge, not even a millimeter. I offered to pay for this one time firing. The answer was still "NO". By now, it's June and I was quite depressed. I started to picture these potentially beautiful mugs in the trash bin, right next to the used napkins and half eaten dougnuts. As I was sulking next to the trash bin, unable to make myself throw away the mugs, the kiln angel walked by. Well, he was more like my pottery teacher. He offered to fire them for me in his kiln at home that weekend. I didn't think a miracle could happen, not on my luck. I must have thanked him at least a billion times and offered to pay for his time and the utility cost. He told me it wasn't necessary but I planned to pay him anyway. The next week rolled around, my teacher said he was busy so he didn't have a chance to fire them. Two weeks later, he mumbled the same answer. By the third week, I stopped asking. He was doing me a favor. I didn't want to nag. It will now be week 5 on Monday. I've pretty much accepted the fact that I will never see these mugs again. They are floating in space, somewhere between earth and maybe the sun? Hopefully, as they get closer to the sun, they'll finally get fired.

7 comments:

SgB said...

Hi Chi. Sorry about your missing pieces. I hope they turn up. When they do I'm sure they will be beautiful.

Denise said...

Oh no! You're kidding me!!! Unbelievable .. Is cone 6 some special, or difficult, process or something? Why is it that the school won't fire in Cone 6, and your teacher is dragging is feet to do so?

I'm so sorry to hear about the mugs. That's a bummer.

Chi said...

Thanks you two, it's comforting to hear from you both.

D, I guess schools don't want to fire at too many temperature ranges because it's hard to manage and perhaps costly too? at cone 6, the clay body is very strong and the glazes remain bright.

sarah said...

oh chi ... i'm so sorry about your predicament of the missing 12! i so know how it feels not wanting to ask someone who's supposedly doing you a favor! but i must say ... your writing is so humorous! i love reading on and on about your missing batch! :o)

ok here's the plan ... tell the kiln angel you need to finish the mugs for your mom's birthday and it's coming up! you think that would work?!!

if not, time to get your own kiln, peppa! :)

pottery said...

keeping my fingers crossed that you will get them back.... oh and they are of course not lost even if you don't get them fired to cone 6 you can lways wash of the glaze let them dry and regaze BUT don't do that before you run out of cone 6 options....

Cynthia said...

If you lived nearby, I'd fire them for you since that's what I fire to! Sorry to hear about your predicament...

Chi said...

sarah, someday, someday soon i'll have my own kiln.

pottery, i'm definitely crossing both my fingers and toes. you're right, i can always wash the mugs and re-glaze.

awh cynthia, thank you! i wish i live near you so i can see your studio. i love reading about your projects.