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13 Common Potter Mistakes

If you know, you know. That is if you are a potter, you understand my woes. This is 13 Common Potter Mistakes that we have all at some point made in our making process. Clay is a delicate fellow who definitely lets you know when it’s not happy.

1. Wedging air into the clay so that when you are throwing on the wheel you find a nice big air bubble and have to grab for that needle tool

2. You then poke/stab yourself with that needle tool. Ouch!

3. You throw a lovely, elegant-shaped pot. You cut it off the wheel and transfer it to a batt to dry and then you accidentally lose your balance and in slow motion drop it. You sigh. There it is. Your lovely pot squished flat like a pancake on the floor.

4. While working on your leather-hard pot, you accidentally scratch the lovely smooth surface with your finger-nail. Forcing you to have short nails for life

5. Trimming a pot. You begin to carve a nice foot ring on the bottom. You feel a bit more generous and start to push a bit further down- urgh you’ve just carved a hole instead

6. Usually you’re pretty skilled at not breaking your wares, but some days you develop butter fingers and break more than you make

7. You score and slip like a pro when attaching your handles but still somehow after a bisque your mug handle is slightly cracked around the seam

8. You wax your pot’s bottom/foot ring and somehow drip wax down one side. That stuff is bloody hard to remove! Where did I put that lighter to try and melt it off . . .

9. The excitement is overflowing to open the glaze kiln, and after waiting a whole day to let the kiln cool down enough. You open the kiln to find . . . your pot is completely stuck to a kiln shelf. Your lovely new glaze has melted and slid down the pot attaching itself there

10. You threw a lovely jar that fits perfectly together with it’s lid. After carefully glazing the two parts, where they slot together is clean of powdery glaze. But when you open the glaze kiln to find that it’s lid has somehow fused with the pot and you cannot release them however much you try

11. That mysterious hairline crack that comes out to say hello in the glaze firing. It must have been so small you didn’t notice it when you glazed over it but when coming out of the glaze firing, it has become a big ole crack

12. My personal favourite. PINHOLES. These crafty little buggers come out randomly even after you do everything in your power and cover every variable

13. Pottery has a memory you know. It remembers all your little mistakes. Grab your pottery a bit harshly and the clay will punish you later for it by warping

Thank you so much for getting this far!

How many of these do you relate to as a potter??? Let me know any that I have forgotten and i’ll make sure to include them.

Many thanks for reading!

By Christina Goodall

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