We’ve had rain, drizzle and cool weather for the past four days and that has made for some really poor drying conditions in the ceramics lab. I had to make a trip to Wally World this morning for a box fan. The ollas are not drying and the plaster drying bats that I use to draw the excess water out of the recycled clay were totally water logged. You can see the fan blowing across the plaster bats and several ollas.
On the potters wheels in the background are several more ollas that have no necks on them. The clay is so very sloppy wet that I’ve had to make straight cylinders and allow them to firm up before I continue with shaping them. When I tried to form the neck the clay would either tear or it would wrinkle and collapse in the area just above the shoulder. I lost two like that and quit last night.
Several years ago a student saw me solve such an issue and asked if I were a ‘Master Potter’. I don’t know what that might be but my response was that you never master clay, or anything for that matter. You surrender to it. You allow it to master you and if you can do that, then you’ll be OK. So if you try to impose your will on clay, you’ll look and feel like a fool. I ought to know. I’ve been there and done that. I’ve even farmed long enough to know that nature has her own designs on things and we’re just along for the ride.