she persisted

May 4, 2021

Here is how Parisian potter, Marion Graux describes the many steps to making a bowl. Draw a bowl. Choose a clay. Prepare the clay. Weigh the clay. Turn the bowl. Allow to dry. Spin the bowl. Sign. Allow to dry. Cook the cookie at 980 degrees. Turn off after about 48 hours. Choose a glaze. Prepare the glaze bath. Glaze. Allow to dry. Clean the glaze drips. Cook at 1240° C. Turn off after about 48 hours. Her bowls –– earth pink, amber, blue and grey –– are beautiful. As are her ultra fine plates. They’re expensive, roughly $70 per plate, but that’s 18 steps. 18 steps over ten days or so. And chances are, for every ten plates she makes, there are at least two casualties. The ones that warp or crack. Potters are a persistent lot. We have to be. I used to watch my studio mate, Katherine return to her wheel day after day, one failed bowl after another, a smile on her face. She sent me a perfect Cappuccino cup today. Persistence pays off. I made two large platters last month, and both cracked in the second firing. I can’t say that I’m not deflated. But we have no choice but to begin again. To roll out a fresh slab. Smooth out the bubbles. Wrap it well. Be patient. Cross our fingers. And our toes. This one is a winner.

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