A quick scroll down will reveal a previous post which featured a lidded jar I made a few days ago. I thought it turned out pretty good, and I was happy to share it with you... all two or three of you. This evening it became just a jar (minus the lid) as you can see. I had actually finished the sgraffito on it, and took it upstairs to show Pam. On the short trip back downstairs, the lid tipped out... and down it went. I watched it in slow motion as it tumbled toward the wooden stairs and crashed, breaking into half a dozen pieces. Awwww man! Not happy. But then I stopped and told myself, it's just clay. Then Pam added some encouragement by saying "you can make another lid." Yes I can, and I will, afterall it was just a lid.
But it's hard sometimes to see something that you've put thought and effort into (including a cool, one-of-a-kind design carved into the underglaze!) literally crumble before your eyes. I recalled something an experienced potter named Ron Philbeck wrote on his blog a while back, which seemed very appropriate:
What if the next week that student came back, unwrapped that pot from the plastic it had been under, turned around, tripped and dropped the pot? Gone. In an instant. Is anything lost? No. Some time. Some clay. What to do? Make another one. And another one.
Making pottery is risk taking. Everything about it. Nothing is guaranteed. The bisque could over fire. The glaze could run, or pinhole, or blister. You may step on the speed pedal and there goes the pot flying across the room. Drop the pot on the slip bucket. Boom, it's gone. If any of it was guaranteed then it would be boring and not worth doing. Just like making perfect pots.
I have a link to Ron's pottery blog over on the righthand side. Check it out.