Can we talk broken ceramics?
Gather round, peeps. It’s time I share my mug story. As you know, I’ve been dabbling in painting ceramic bisque for a few years now. I would paint a mug here and there and thoroughly enjoyed it. With each stroke, I fantasized about being home alone in my studio with a table full of raw bisque, ready for me to have my way with it. Then I would sell the pieces at our local art fairs and who knows what that would lead to.
Well, that glorious day finally arrived. Patrick and I visited a local wholesale ceramics warehouse and bought all the supplies.
I’m an obsessive crafter.
When I have my mind set on a project, I don’t stop until it’s completed. I only had one night to paint these mugs and I made sure I met my deadline. Patrick too. We painted about 14 mugs total – here they are before we glazed them. We lovingly delivered them to the ceramics shop then counted down the hours until the kiln finished working its magic.
They came out beautiful!
We sold them for $24 each at our weekend event and not only did we sell out, but we took orders for more PLUS received a few orders from local coffeehouses and bookstores.
I became hooked on painting mugs.
My mind didn’t stop spinning with ideas! I could sell my mugs along with my novels at bookstores and coffeeshops! I would pitch my line of mugs to the lady at a giftware manufacturer who has been asking me for an idea for finished goods. These mugs were going to change our lives!
The next morning, Maya and I were right there as they opened the doors at the ceramic store.
I was on vacation from work, and planned to use my first day to paint more mugs for Spanish Market that weekend, our biggest show of the year! This is only half of what I purchased that morning. I was so excited, I downed a quad venti latte to add to my rush.
Here is Maya helping me base coat the goods.
Now this is where the tragic part comes.
“WHAT?” I whisper-shouted. Total disbelief.
I marched to our truck in the parking lot. I had to see it for myself. All those hours of painting, for nothing?
There on the backseat was a big box filled with crumpled newspaper. I took a deep breath and carefully unwrapped each mug one-by-one to find every. single. one. had a at least two chips, dings,or cracks. Some of them were even stuck together like Siamese twins.
Not a single mug could be saved.
I called the ceramics place and they apologized and offered to give me replacement mugs and free firing. It truly was a freak accident and I got over it pretty quick.
And then I met a glass artist there at Spanish Market and he told me that he says, “Drop your glass? Make jewelry!”
We all have our stories of crafty heartache, right?
It makes us tougher. This experience made me realize to always expect the unexpected, be ready for “the look.” Sometimes the craftastrophes are out of our control. We can throw a fit and give up or find a silver lining and work with it. If you truly love to create art and crafts, you’ll find a way to spin it and make it work. That’s how I feel anyway.
*Falls to knees, wails, and pounds the ground with fist*
I’m not going to let this little mishap get me down.
I have all these mugs to paint, plus the new ones. I ready to rock! I’ve already been working on sketches! As far as the chipped mugs, sure I’ll try to paint and glaze to save some of them, but as far as the rest – this is what I’m thinking:
Now it’s your turn – have you ever had a perfect project crash and burn out of your control? Share your story, we’re all in this together!