search  current discussion  categories  safety - misc 

the safety net

updated sun 31 aug 08


tony clennell on sat 30 aug 08

E wrote:
Just keep your head straight. Unlike Kelly, who is working with a net, you
are not. She can make waht she want right now and for the foreseeable future.

For every one you make to feed your soul, you need 99 to feed your family.

Make that one count!

Dear E: thanx for the warning. I've been jumping off the garage
without a safety net for two decades thinking I could fly. The one
safety net that I seem to have is skill. My skill combined with the
love of life's skill that is! The couple of decades of making lots and
lots of work have given us the skill to get the job done better and in
half the time. For some strange reason I have always thrown $1000
worth of work a day when I'm throwing. Twenty years ago that would be
probably 50 pie plates. Today it's 30 cups or 6 large wall bowls.
Sheila seems to work at about the same pace. So combined we fill our
kiln of about $4000 worth of product in two throwing days. We fire
twice a month. So there is time for some flying lessons. Granted there
are a million other jobs to do in the pottery but right now I'm hot on
an idea. I'm dreaming about it, laying awake thinking about it and
stretching my comfort zone. It's keeping the fun in studio work. I'll
show it off when it's outta the bisque. That will be several months
from now as they are big and I will make probably 8 or more before the
My clay body is 30% sand so it's a bit like working with hard brick mortar.
Hey your 99 to 1 ratio is pretty close to being dead on. Before I
became an absentee student potter we would fire 25 gas kilns a year
and maybe in a good year 4 wood kilns. The percentage of killer pots
from the wood kiln was always low so on a good year that might be 6-8
show pieces wood fired.
If I can make one that counts, I'll be a happy camper. I tried flying
again this morning! #2 on it's way. I think if the wax holds together
and I don't get too, too close to the sun, I think it's going to
All the best,