Recently, we’ve had an annoying spell of things breaking. Something new happened to add to it, which was flat pieces (for pictures) breaking in their first (bisque) firing – that was a shock indeed! Looking into it I discover the same old story – I’ve just been lucky so far..
What I should have been doing is putting sand or batt wash (a powder usually mixed with water to cover the kiln shelves) on the shelf and placing the picture on it, so that during the heating and cooling processes in the kiln, it has room to move and not be under pressure. Lesson learned.
One of the pieces was actually three large flat pieces forming one artwork, a triptych, that will form a backdrop behind someone’s aga style cooker. I would say I could have cried, but actually I did just cry. I dwelled on how to respond to K, the person who commissioned it, and eventually emailed her with the sad photos and the offer to remake (a long wait), refund her or start again but deliberately make it in six pieces (also a long wait). You’ll not be surprised to hear that I cried again when she phoned in tears saying how much she loved the broken pieces and wanted them glazed! The reason she chose us, she says, was because of Chris’s poetry, which reflects often on what is beautiful and what is broken within each one of us..
The fourth piece to break that day is pictured below – less of an emotional deal, although still puzzling! However, the ancient Japanese method of restoring what is broken with gold, kintsugi, works beautifully with the subtle and fragile looking trees and the poetry with it. What do you think?