snap, crackle, & STOP

Of Friday or Saturday I opened my kiln to a total disappointment.  I knew I was testing, but I'd hoped to have some pieces I could use, and I didn't count on it being so bad that it would bring me close to tears.  Most of this work had been previously fired, to a low-ish ^6 (that's in the high 2100 to low 2200 F range) and I had a lot of problems with glaze fit.  I glazed a bunch more work, including some porcelain that I hadn't tried in the little kiln, and fired it again to a hotter ^6 (that's pronounced Cone 6, by the way, and I took it to the 2260 F range).  Still, it was crackle city.  Can you see it in this cup?  The crackles in the bottom?  The ones that will trap the honey and the tea from your hot cuppa and grow bacteria?  I'm trying it again at ^7 (almost 2300F) later this week when my cones come in.

This is a platter I made just for me, and the entire thing is a fine map of crackles.  Both the cup and the platter are a new-to-me clay (the glaze is one I used and liked well enough to buy a gallon of).  I'm out of the clay and won't buy more of it.  I'd love to rescue both the dozen cups I made and the platter- the cups because they're pre-sold and the platter, because, well, I'd like to use it.  All told, this is two weeks' worth of work that is potentially lost.

I've moved on to another stoneware and ordered several more white and clear glazes to keep testing.  All this to say that I'm feeling perpetually behind.  Glad that I'm not signed up for any events or sales or markets.  But I have some custom dinner orders that I'm sitting on, and I'd like to get them out the door.

I would like to address one thing- so many of my customers were kind and understanding to the absolute utmost degree when I told them that their orders would be delayed further.  I had one negative experience out of the whole lot, which shook me pretty badly.  It was downright venomous, and I think it was due to a miscommunication that made me feel defensive and then downright shocked.  I try hard to accommodate all kinds of requests and try to send out my best work.  I think that *most* people who have handmade businesses try their very best to please their customers.  They all have feelings that are easily bruised by unfair, or, even if fair, harsh, criticism.  This just to say that we should all (me included) remember that we're dealing with people who have lives and families and feelings and we never know what's going on in their lives- illness, failed work, failed relationships.  I'm stepping off my soapbox, but I was accused of gross misrepresentation and unprofessionalism, and it hurt.   I'm mostly over it, but I wanted to address it for my own learning, as much as anyone else's.

I had a lovely Easter, and hope your Spring holidays were wonderful, as well.  See you again soon.