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Types of Mistakes

by claybottress

Sometimes making a mistake is the best way to learn, right? So I shall share some of my recent mishaps and lessons learned. The thing about ceramics is that mistakes are inevitable, and part of the process. We have to learn that as much as we care for, nurture, and bring work into this world, it can be taken away in a flash. To love and not die of heartbreak when our project fails, shatters, explodes or turns out wrong. So there is an element of embracing a mistake that goes with the territory. Some recent examples…

Recent mistake #1: One of my favorite 3D printed vases broke after it was leather hard. Lesson learned: Do not pick up greenware with one hand, especially by the neck. Always use two hands and grab on the bottom. Do not cry when destroyed. I can always print another and I will! Also hoping to save this and make the vase shorter by cutting it. We shall see if that works. Worth trying!

Mistake #2: Do not make a model with a  neck that is too long and causes the print to collapse upon itself. However, do keep the end result because it looks weird and cool, and will be fun to glaze and keep all the mistakes as a series. Celebrate gravity and physics! Woo hoo!

Mistake #3: Do not print a model with this much of overhang, where the bottom is so much smaller than the rest of the vessel. Again, gravity has its way with your plans! In this case, I picked up the collapsed clay before it printed the entire file. I was going to recycle it, but I liked its form. So it is going into my weird and cool mistake pile for glazing and a potential series.

Mistake #4: Do not trim the base when the clay is too wet. Wait a day or two for it to become a lot more stiff, but not leather hard. Lesson learned: When the vase falls over and becomes lopsided, squish it so it looks like that was your intent.

Mistake #5: Forget to trim the bottom when the slab is leather hard. Again, I shall make lemonade out of lemons. I think the set of candleholders is far more interesting with the different feet, don’t you? One will keep its slab, and the other shall provide contrast and artistic tension. Yup.

Thanks for reading!



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Ina Saltz March 30, 2020 - 4:27 am

Love your blog!

shugar April 19, 2020 - 11:34 pm

Thanks for sharing! We can only be defined on how we fix our mistakes not by the mistake itself so exciting to see so much progress and ideas!!! Have Fun!!

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