Truth time

Its been a tougher than expected week at the Servant Ceramics Studio… 

…don’t get me wrong, there have been some awesome moments but its a been hard one for a couple reasons.

Lets celebrate the highs first eh?

S||C Aug 28th_Kiln D
 – An awesome glaze firing early in the week – super successful.

– Stocking up in an epic way with glaze materials. The great results in the kiln mean I get to mix up bigger batches of glaze! I love the glazing side of this gig.

S|C Aug 30 2013_a
– Realising afresh how awesome my parents are! They go out of their way to help me – especially my Mum on Thursday arvo!

– Threw really well on Thursday morning, loving the improvements in my speed and accuracy as my hands learn the forms and shapes of the range.

Cacycat earrings
– Rocking my CacyCat earrings that I bought at last Friday’s Brisstyle Twilight Market

– Andrew made some killer gnocchi for dinner last night. Totally blew my mind and scored himself major son-in-law points with my Mum.

Footbath Bath petals
– These pretty bath petals that make a footbath even better!

– Was amazed by another small business’ customer service on Weds arvo. BIG SHOUTOUT to BSF plastics. The team went out of their way to help me in getting the perfect base for my ‘Fragmented Impressions’ Clunes entry. Amazing fellas there… A*M*A*Z*I*N*G

– And talking about the Clunes entry… Its all packed and sent off! Kinda feel like its been a marathon effort today… more on that below! But before we get there, rejoice with me! The pieces are on their way to Clunes via Melbourne and Ballarat!!

The not so fun side is really just two things…

– Packing work for exhibition is hard. Relying on other people to install your work, especially when its fiddly and time-consuming ensured that I had a mini meltdown. Questioning the resolved work in its entirety, is it actually good enough…? Will someone just decide its too hard to install and yank it from the show…? Do my installation notes make any sense? Thankfully Andrew knows what how to handle this explosive situation and practiced installing the work to show me that it will all be ok. My photographer, Lisa Brown from Faun Photography helped a lot these past couple days as she had to install the work when photographing (note: she’s sensational).

So the plan has been to get the work posted today as its due in Clunes, next Friday. I was still working out how best to explain the installation process last night and wasn’t getting anyway except for that one-way ticket to meltdown-town. So to bed I headed, and I set my alarm for 6am. It took 7hours and one, two three trips to my local Pack and Send courier outlet BUT the installation guide is written, the items wrapped and packed and everything is now on its way! If ever there was a time for this word, it is now…. HUZZAH!!

Emotionally I’m feeling quite drained after all this but, today’s effort backs up from yesterday. Or, as I now refer to it… Dreaded Thursday (cue dramatic ‘dum duuuum daaaaaaaar’ effect).

The short of it, is that my pottery wheel now shorts out.
As in, kills the power and cuts out.

If you heard a long, pain-filled
noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
echoing across the Australian plains yesterday, just before lunch, that. was. me.

At first I thought the power might have just been tripped. The house lights still worked but all power points were dead.  I checked the relay and the flip had flopped. I head back upstairs, testing the power with my hairdryer, its back. And I head back to the studio with a freshly coiffed fringe. I turn on the wheel’s power, it starts… ‘Brilliannnnnnn’ I think. But before I get the ‘t’ out, the wheel cuts out.

‘Oh no. This isn’t good’ are my next thoughts.
I flick the relay again and try the wheel’s power point with the radio. That’s fine. It doesn’t cut out after two seconds.
I rifled through the electrical drawer for an extension lead and join that to my wheel to test with a different power point.
But yet again I’m *clap, clap, CUT OFF* (If you’ve seen pitch perfect, you should hopefully get that reference haha).

Now I smell something. A slight burnt smell. And my heart sinks.
RIP, my beloved Venco motor.

Then my heart speeds up… what am I going to do now?!!! I can’t be wheel-less right now… Things that  to be thrown – orders need to be filled – items need to be turned!

At the start of the week, I had set myself a throwing deadline on Friday for a bisque firing the following week.

What am I going to do?!!
Panic sets in. All I can hear is a frenzied heartbeat, thumping in my ears.

Thank God for amazing friends with connections. And my Mum. Mum dropped her plans for Thursday arvo to help me get a replacement wheel for the week, meaning I can meet my deadline and have my wheel looked at… Old Val might get some new parts yet.

One of the things I love about clay is the people that get drawn into the community. Some of the most generous, giving, enthusiastic people going around are clayworkers. Quick to offer suggestions or a complement, always willing to help out both in good times and rough ones.

With the panic long gone, thankfulness and joy are bubbling over this afternoon.

Its been a hard week and things certainly haven’t gone to plan. Plan A that is. But working through plan B, C and D… M, R, V, whichever letter we eventually make it too, ensures the final result and victory are that much sweeter.

I suppose I want to dedicate this post to my TAFE friends who are working hard at producing their graduate and end of year works. Roll with the punches, keep your chin up, problem solve your butts off!

Also, on my way home from the courier’s shop for the final time this arvo, I was shown not just once, but twice that I am loved…

With that little boost, I’m off to use my replacement wheel! YAHOO!!

I’m gonna also link this up to the Mud Colony blog – a great space for clayworkers to share their week and studios. Feel free to check in there for some other crazy clay adventures 🙂

Oh and don’t forget, Father’s Day is this Sunday! We’ll be off billy-carting with my own dear farjah – should be an interesting day 🙂

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8 thoughts on “Truth time

  1. Wow Rae, what an incredible story. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    God is with you sister so keep smiling. Romans 5:3-5

    Joel

  2. What a full on week for you! I’m sure the installation will go smoothly. It will give the art handlers something to get excited about. I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

  3. We might be able to get to Clunes… it’s only a couple of hours from Hamilton 🙂 I bet it would be worth the drive. Well done on your creations! All the best.

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