For the last year all the potters at the studio have been required to measure the pieces they’ve made and placed into a glaze firing. Supposedly this was to determine the use per person and to collect data to support a new fee schedule that would require “production potters” to pay their fair share. The results were in. It showed exactly what we all knew – there are a handful of people who produce an extraordinary amount of work. And “surprise!” it has peaks that occur within a month of the major art shows in the area. After the little presentation complete with graphs and tables the studio management announced that the measurements would continue for another year BUT in response to the data they were increasing the class fees by $20 but giving us a bag of clay for “free”. I still have about 60 pounds of clay on my shelf. I don’t need any more clay. It begs the question, if they have identified the production potters why are they increasing the class fees across the board? Why not just charge the production potters the extra cost for hogging the kiln? If history repeats this is what will happen (mark my words as I’m going to come back to this post in a year or 2 and see if I was right): The fees will increase but we get 25# of “free” clay. The cost of the clay is either $16 for dark grog stoneware, $18 for white stoneware, and a whopping $20 for porcelain clay. After a year (3 semesters), the free clay will be taken away but the fees will stay the same. Then in another year they will bump the fees up another $10 or more making the class almost too expensive for the average person to afford.
Amid all the fuss I managed to get a couple more pieces back. First is the coccidia orb. Coccidia are a single celled parasite that lives in the intestinal wall. They cause bleeding and diarrhea that can be life threatening in very young or debilitated animals… This piece is glazed with Gold Shino with Blue accents.
The second one is one that you either love or hate – it is composed of a multitude of faces painted with varying concentrations of red iron oxide stain. I had purchased this mold for faces that was designed for making candy! No kidding. If you think it is weird as part of a clay sculpture just imagine eating little chocolate candies with faces!
We are in Orlando and heading to Universal Studios for the day. Harry Potter World is on the agenda. The weather is a balmy 70 degrees with sunny skies. I put on sunscreen just in case….