Ceramics is about timing: is my ware wet enough or dry enough for whatever stage that I’m at? Tonight I pulled handles, then trimmed mugs while the handles dried, then worked with another set of eight mugs, and then… nope, the timing didn’t work this time. These pulled handles aren’t dry enough to attach to mugs so they’re heading into time-out under plastic. The handles and the mugs need to be at very similar stages of dampness so that the handles just don’t crack and fall off. You’d think that in this dry Alberta climate, they would have stiffened up in all that time but nope, still floppy and far too annoying to work with. It’s too close to bedtime and I need to get my beauty rest – I like my handles just a wee bit closer to leather, thank you very much. Now I will hope that they don’t dry too much under the plastic because I won’t be able to pay them any attention until tomorrow night. With ten mugs waiting for handles, I sure hope the mugs stay wet enough while the handles stiffen just a wee bit so that the timing works perfectly.
I came home last night to a man with a dilemma. He had 18 mugs without handles, and also had a long list of not unimportant things that needed to be done before Wednesday morning. I happen to like pulling handles so he made supper, gave me a hand massage, helped the Kid with his homework, and I pulled handles and attached them to his mugs while watching old episodes of Downton Abbey. I think I got the better end of the deal. The keys to a happy marriage and successful pottery: creativity, compromise, and flexibility.