Wednesday, July 6, 2011
It Exploded! What do I do now?!?
Yesterday my kiln exploded, died, bit the dust, use whatever descriptive word you want, just make it catastrophic. I like exploded because that’s how it felt.
My kiln didn’t actually explode, but the devastation I saw upon opening the lid hit me like a ton of bricks. Like an explosion.
One of the greatest joys a potter can have is the opening of a kiln after a good fire. It’s like Christmas morning, only better.
Not this time.
This time my kiln wasn’t full of pretty pottery but was empty running a test fire. It was not firing properly and after months of troubleshooting, patching and installing new elements - several times, my kiln was finally running its first test fire. Woo Hoo!
The empty kiln, all patched up with shiny new parts, was going to be the revival of my studio. Coming back to life after 3 years in a coma state. It was going to start living again. I was going to start creating again. 3 years I have waited patiently.
My kiln is dead. The automatic shut-off did not work. It way over-fired. It destroyed itself.
Kind of like me 3 years ago when I tore the tendons in both elbows creating pottery. Repeating a process over and over again without rest, until I broke.
I cried yesterday. Soul searching tears. Like a moth to a flame I kept walking back to the garage to take another look. It was true. Still dead. Writing this down today is helping me sort through the questions my mind is relentlessly asking.
Is this karma for not going to church yesterday? Is this a sign I should not go back into pottery? If so then why do I have such passion for it? Does it mean I need to go in another direction with my pottery? Do I save up and buy a new kiln? Do I try and repair this one? What does this mean? Where do I go from here????
Photo above by Michelle Rivera