On my way to the studio today, thinking about new glazes to make when I got there it occurred to me that I should test them, like all grown up potters. But I realized that I wasn’t going to and that led me on to thinking more deeply about what I do and why. I thought, well, it’ll be an experiment. The prospect of surprise is really exciting. Occasionally the result is dreadful, but more often pleasing and something to be worked with in future, or occasionally thrilling. I do of course make glazes for the appropriate firing range and there is always some relationship to what I am expecting, but I never quite know for sure. Same with my rough mixtures of clays and oxides to make the bodies.
Then I realized that virtually all my work is experimental. Every piece is new and different even if I have a common feel for a number of pots. I never aim to make a series looking the same (for one thing, I’m not skilful enough) and every object is a new attempt at making something fresh and new that will please me. Just to see how well an idea works, as much as anything.
But there are some important ground rules that I also fail to obey. I have put the picture of this small bottle here because I was absolutely delighted with the glaze (although the blisters are absurdly fragile). But how did I do it? Oh dear, oh dear! No record! I think I’ll remember – but of course I don’t. It’s so difficult to keep notes when your hands are covered with wet glaze. And in any case, there’s a new idea just popping up for the next pot and I must try that before I forget it. It’s all so exciting.