Saturday, September 4, 2010

Bad Weather and Landfill Dilemma

A windy day!

Well, now that we're into Spring, winter has finally hit! Might have something to do with the Adelaide show starting yesterday (it rains every year without fail). The thunderstorm yesterday was awesome. Today the wind has been so strong that Lake Bonnie actually had waves. Ok, not big enough to surf or anything, but still!

Hmm, I wonder what would have happened if I had turned our porch light on?

With all this bad weather, I really haven't felt like working in the studio much, so I've spent most of the time unpacking boxes. I've been rather overwhelmed discovering how much ceramics I've accumulated over 9 years! I'm sure I can't be the only potter in this situation... I seem to have a habit of boxing things up, thinking I'll deal with them later. I don't think a lot of the work has seen the light of day in maybe 5 or 6 years. While most of them are 'usable', they are quite hideous! I've been left with a bit of a dilemma as to what to do with everything.

Some of the pieces are fine, but have a small fault - making them unsaleable. Some have sentimental value, because they are the first pieces I made. Some are exhibition pieces that didn't sell. Some are just really, really bad, but were experiments/tests. Others I thought were good at the time, but now that I've had more training and experience I realise 'no, they're bad'...

This is just one box I unpacked the other day! Most of this stuff was from 2002/3. All made at TAFE while I was learning to wheel throw. Most of my pieces back then were in stoneware. It was more about practicing the technique of throwing and also glazing.

This piece was made while studying in Cairns in 2004. My husband just asked 'What would you use that for?' - Every potter's favourite question! But no, seriously - what would you use that for???

And this set of four bowl. Made in Sydney in 2002. My very first set! I remember it was so daunting when the lecturer set this project. I was the first in the class to make four that looked slightly similar and was rather proud of these things! And now... ?

And then we come to this jug. Also made while studying in Sydney in 2002. My very first jug. Hmmm...

What to do?
This is the dilemma I've been having:
- I was contemplating having a big smashing session! Greek style. I'm sure my husband would be quite happy to get involved in that! But I'm concerned about just adding to landfill.

- I could give some to friends and family. And I'm sure I will. But not the hideous pieces. I already cringe too often when I notice an old piece that I gave someone years back. I sometimes ask if I could replace it for them, only to discover that it is now their favourite mug/ plate/ vase.

- I could donate most of it to the Goodwill (second-hand shop). But that's not a good career move, to donate hideous pieces that are going to be out there - somewhere, lurking. Plus, if you are selling pieces in designer shops and then customers also see your work in the second hand shop, that's not a good look either.

- I could box them up and deal with them later. No! That's not an option this time. I've decided I'm going to deal with things and not put them off.

- I kind of ran out of ideas. However, my friend Angela gave a great suggestion - make a sulpture out of all the sentimental pieces and save a couple for the cat (hmm, don't have one) and the rest bin. I like that idea! While I was in China I saw a really cool wall made out of hundreds of different pottery pieces. If I had my own property, I could build an interesting garden wall, or something!?

Pottery wall at Son Bao, Jingdezhen

But I'm renting!
So... where does that leave me and all these pots? I so wish I could finish this blog entry with a solution, but I'm just going to have to leave it hanging there!


  1. thankfully the storm has passed you should have heard it at the club yesterday! we weren't sure if the roof would hold :P...and send that pic to your landlord HA!! ooh and that's the 'real' great wall of china...:))

  2. I love the yellow jug, very cute!I like Ang's suggestion too but you could make something that you can take with you, a Gaudi inspired bird bath or some totem poles?

  3. I still have one of your early ventures into celedon and I love it

  4. Thanks guys!
    Ang- The Club always seems to get hit hard in storms, does it!? Yeah, I love that wall made of pots.
    Ali- Haha,the yellow jug is funny. You would probably need to see it in real life to get the full impact! :) I definitely like your idea of the movable sculpture. I think there could possibly be an exhibition theme in this! ;)
    Aww, thanks Rose!! I always appreciate other people's work, but always seem to be able see faults in my own. I guess that's just the way of artists, or maybe its just my 'perfectionist' streak coming out!?!?