For three months I have carefully tended to a large, gravy lover supportive, dinnerware set. Each piece hand painted with invocation of 3 Wishes. They may look simple, but they quietly took much tending. Plates are notorious crackers when drying and warpers in firing, they need a bat system that I don't have in our home studio but sweetly had access to in the community. It took a month just for them to release from the bats before continued controlled moisture balanced slow drying. I looove this naturally dark chocolate clay, it is more costly but oh so luscious! Honestly I've been fully smitten the entire journey.
For this past week I have spent a fair amount of time in pant-breathing tear-jerking pain, medicated just to get across the room, reliant on others to ... well.. do pretty much everything for me. I had missed my two covid compliant shifts at the community studio but knew these plates were finally Done. Yesterday I was able to tenderly, and with help, manage to pick them up.
I saw it right away.
Small coloured drops that I did not add.
Just on one.
The kilnmaster told me glaze from a neighbouring piece splashed on during the final firing, and gently reiterated what most experienced potters and ceramists advise, "We learn to not get attached until they are finished." It's generally considered a noob thing to do, to stir up close feelings for a piece. We are encouraged to not try and save a thing as it begins to fail. Just start again. Articles are even written about it, how well ceramists end up dealing with failure in life due to the uncountable opportunities for disaster along the way to Done in their craft.
My sunken feeling reply, "I get attached to each piece. I just grieve them too."
Sweetly she consoled with noting how she knew I had put my heart into them.
Me, mostly to myself,
"I put my heart into everything"
And I do. Or I try to anyway.
Not in some wild emotional roller coaster of the ill placed sleeve bearing sort, but crafting a life that I can put my heart into what I am doing, where I am, who I'm with. Unless it is an unsafe or wholly unwise situation where true harm is a potential, I don't want to stay detached while waiting to see how things turn out in the end nor pendulum swing into good vibes only, love & light, forgive & forget bypassing of the raw and the real either. I want to live as a full human creature while I'm here. I don't buy things thinking about deprecation values or trade-in ability. I use all the good china. I take the plastic covers off. I step into stories with both feet and listen as if it were my own. My shirt will be wet from tears and my face lined from smiling. It is all absolutely both deeply heart mending and heart breaking.