Saturday, March 20, 2010

Do Scientists Get Nervous?


Something changed this morning as I was getting ready to glaze my Pod forms. I didn’t approach the set-up and glazing as fearlessly I normally would have. There was a nervousness I felt as I was prepping the tools and Pods –I even cleaned the mixing tool on the drill TWICE! I’m afraid any foreign debris might cause some sort of failure in the glaze or my carelessness and un-cleanliness could lead to a total catastrophic kiln firing failure. I'm also a bit nervous using the mystery glazes because I've only "tested" two of the colors and want to try two more on this set of Pods. One mistake I think I’m already making is I’m in love with these Pod forms and I know I shouldn’t even start the affair until after they have finished their time in the kiln. I am learning that planning ahead is a good thing and patience and cleanliness are also just good clay practices –all things that don’t come naturally to me. I’ll probably need to come up with some new rules…

The new steel wall logo installation went well this week though that project also had me nervous. Dr. Murray’s office is a GREAT client and knew exactly what they wanted. I ended up changing my process when the first set of letters didn’t turn out as expected. Originally, I had an electronic eps file of their logo water-jet cut from of 18 gauge steel but the letters were way too rigid and mechanical looking. I was trying to replicate their calligrap

hic look in steel –it wasn’t easy. I ended up scrapping the first set of letters that I’d already paid for, and plasma cutting by hand the “M” and the “O” myself. This helped to better create the purposeful rough edges as in their calligraphy styled logo. One of the prerequisites of the wall sculpture made by their office manager, Jo Lynn pictured at the left in the photo with Dr. Murray, was that the “M” to be heat treated to the steel blue. This limited the materials I could use because I can

only get that heat treated look with the black iron, not aluminum. I was so nervous to deliver the piece right up until Jo Lynn and Dr. Murray both gave it the two thumbs up! WHEW. I swear, sometimes commissions can really get my stomach in knots.

7 comments:

Linda Starr said...

what stress we put ourselves through for our work. I can't even imagine what a commission piece would do to my stress level, your piece looks super on the wall, congrats. Good luck with your pods, I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

OH! In knots? But you're so darn skilled!

Tracey Broome said...

If you are in love with the pods, you are s.c.r.e.w.e.d. :)
I like them too, just be thankful you don't have me glazing and firing them. Wait until you see my blog after I unload my first ^6 firing tomorrow. Seriously though, best of luck, hope they turn out fabulous!

ang said...

ahh you break em you make em again! don't get precious is one thing i've learned about clay work, we're makers after all and just keep on learning.. hope your glaze firing is a good one and see.. cool that you trashed the letters you didn't like and made your own..

Cowgirl Goods said...

Two thumbs up from over here! That is as a Mainer would say, "wicked cool." Once again amazing work and thanks for sharing it with all of us.

Judy Shreve said...

Your commissioned piece is fabulous! I have my fingers crossed for your pods to come out just as you envision for them -- but Ang's advise is the best -- and we should all remember that we do love the process -- but it is good to get positive results every now and then -- lol!

jimgottuso said...

whenever i get attached to a particular piece, that's when i get a bit nervous... but that's a good thing. now if only i were a scientist.