And now for something completely different (Day 342/365)

I roused myself this afternoon and went to the ceramics studio, where I made a mug.

Here’s the deal: twenty years ago (!) I made a mug at GHP. It’s quite a lovely thing. Here it is:

It’s very beautiful. I think it at least approaches, if not attains, wabi-sabi.

So I figure, what the heck, every twenty years, I’ll make a mug. It’s good if you can be creative on a schedule.

I‘m not sure how this new one is going to turn out. I calculated for shrinkage (13%), and aimed for a mug 3.5″ across and about 6″ high. I engraved a seven-circuit labyrinth on it and attached a big thick handle. That’s where I left it, to dry a bit.

It seems awfully big and clunky, not unlike the second mug I made in 1988 or so, which didn’t shrink as much as I needed it to and remains a big huge heavy ugly thing which sits in the back of the cabinet and never comes out.

In fact, I made this one once, didn’t like it, and crunched it and started over. Andy was kind enough to stop by and give me a couple of construction tips that helped a little, but basically it’s too big. But who knows, maybe it will shrink to my calculated size by tomorrow and I can buff up the labyrinth engraving a little and fire it.

If it doesn’t actually fall apart. I’m not sure that I got all the joints joined together. If there are air pockets embedded where there should be clay, the whole thing could just crack apart in the kiln. That would throw me off my twenty-year schedule.

But if working here for 20+ years has taught me anything, it’s that art is what you salvage when you stop working on it. We’ll take another look tomorrow and see if I’ve managed any art at all.

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