, Some days our well executed plans laugh in our face as they tell us "we had something completely different in mind for you today". So went my day...
I came into the studio with the excitement of a child on Christmas Eve. Yesterday I set up and fired my first pot melt. I was so looking forward to coming in this morning and lifting the top of the kiln. That excitement didn't last long after lifting the lid. Initially I saw the pot melt bowl that had contained all of the scrap pieces of glass I had put in it yesterday. There was a beautiful, bright blend of orange, turquoise, yellow, white, blue and green.
I lifted the bowl from the stand and my heart sank. Disaster! The majority of the glass was a muddy mess of color. I had heeded advice found in my research and consciously limited the amount of dark colored glass I had included. I noticed that the glass had merged with the stainless steel ring and was stuck on one side. Then I saw that a bit of glass had melted under the edges of the ring. Much to my surprise, the ring lifted from the glass relatively easily.
However, taking the glass off of the shelf was going to be a much bigger challenge. It had bonded to the shelf like I had bonded with my first born. At this point, I closed the kiln and decided that it was time to go for a walk (and maybe cry a little!). On my walk I worked through my feelings of failure and came back to the studio determined to look at this whole situation with a new attitude. Donning a hammer and a flat, stainless steel ruler I headed for the kiln and opened the lid. I was able to slide the hammer under a small part of the glass that had not stuck to the shelf. Thank heavens it was a fiber shelf - that allowed me to work the ruler around the piece and loosen its' grip. When I lifted the glass, a few cracks made themselves known and a ring of glass released from about half of the outer edge. As I picked up the glass, I noticed that a nice chunk of shelf released with the glass...again, thank heavens it was a fiber shelf. I would never have been able to remove it from a ceramic shelf.
In a much better frame of mind to deal since working myself into a sweat on my walk, I gingerly carried the piece to take some pictures. As I looked more closely, it started to grow on me. I saw beautiful swirls of color in place of the mud. I saw 3 beautifully colored jungle birds with their heads together in contemplation or maybe conversation!
The crack on the semi-circle that I lifted from the shelf gave way so I now have two interesting shapes to work with. You'll see it on the wall next time you're in the studio - that's where my 'mistakes' end up - transformed into glass art with a great back story to tell
My expectations were not met this morning. This was not the way I wanted to start my day but it is how my day started. I am thankful I was able to look through the mud to see the beauty through all of the doused expectations. Thank you, life, for today's lessons (in equal parts, how not to do a pot melt and how to let go of yesterday's expectations and accept today's reality).