Every time we get ready to do a wood firing, there is a hesitation and resistance that engulfs us when faced with exactly how much work we need to do. Everyone always see's a potters job as working on the wheel, but in reality, that is probably only 10% of what we do. Drying, trimming, cleaning, bisque firing, cleaning again, signing, waxing, painting, glazing, cleaning again, stacking and then firing; all these things weigh heavily upon us like an insurmountable summit ahead of a weary climber. Of course, when you are motivated, when you are under the gun, go go go, and working without thinking about how much is left to do, then it's not so bad. But in the winter months, when business is slow, there aren't many shows, and really you just want to hibernate, well, that's when it's hardest to get started. Here are some pictures of my work in the process of being decorated and glazed, something I did today, although I should have done a lot more.
In these photo's you can see some of the mess and chaos of the studio right before a firing. Work is piled up all over, glazes need to be remixed and passed through a sieve (this can be a real pain, especially when certain glazes, like copper red, settle and turn into mud/glue at the bottom of the buckets), all my brushwork is done by hand, and then dipped into the clear glaze, and each layer of glaze (outside/inside) needs to dry completely before the other one can be applied. All in all, it's exhausting, and we're worn out even before we've loaded the kiln. Although, we'd never admit to any of this of course because being an "artist" is all about expressing ourselves and 'living in the moment' :p Fun romantic ideas which are usually so far from the truth.