Wot went wong? Pot went wong!

Wot went wong? Pot went wong!

Hi there,

Thanks for popping in today. Having a day off, and spending it with my dear friend Anita, so am off the Clarity radar for a day. A pamper day at the Spa Hotel! Wowee! It’s not something I do, if you know what I mean, but the kind team at work gave me a voucher for my birthday, so I’m doin’ it! And Neet loves all that hot pebbles and massage stuff, so I thought I’d treat her for her birthday! At least I’ll be in good company whilst being tortured!

Before we head off for the day, let me tell you about my pot. My lovely coil pot. You know the one. The one that took 3 weeks. The one I laboured over and came to love. The one I painstakingly rolled out endless sausages of cranky clay for. The one I rubbed with the back of a spoon for an entire afternoon. The one I used our paper die cut on…

You know the expression, the best laid plans?

I had this plan, to paint it with black slip (coloured diluted clay), which I did.

Then peel off the masks and fire it to a bisque state, ready to have its matte white glaze applied all over, and go back in the kiln a second time. This was going to give a beautiful grey/blue finish.

Well. You can imagine my face when I skipped into the studio on Wednesday, all fired up (excuse the pun) to see how the pot had come out, and ready to apply the glaze. Eunice the teacher smiled at me, but I instantly knew something had gone Pete Tong. Wong. She proceeded to tell me that it had only ever happened to her once before, in the 300 years she’s been working with clay. I instantly put on my “It was only a pot hat” and braced myself.

“The bloody kiln didn’t switch off. It increased the temperature and kept baking through the night.”

Gutted. That just about takes the bisquit.

“Did it explode? Or crack?” I asked.

“Oh no! Not at all! It has just reach a state of petrification where it can no longer take glaze.”

Not terminal then. Just petrified.

“It is wonderful,” Eunice went on. “It is what we called Naked Clay. That is a whole other artform” And she ran to show me a book of Naked Clay Art. Very nice.

Where’s me naked clay pot then?

“It was a centrepiece at the exhibition and sale we had last week. Everybody was admiring it.”

Ok Ok. You have talked me in off the ledge. Now let’s see this naked clay creation….

Eunice disappeared for a moment and then presented me with this:

It actually is really beautiful. Totally different to what I had in mind. But actually better. it feels like a real antique kind of earthy thing. What you might find in an archeological dig.

It’s much smaller than it was. Shrank by 20% in fact. But who cares. I love it!

I couldn’t wait to get home and show Dave.  It was suggested to me that I put it back in the oven to heat it again (as if the poor thing hasn’t had enough heat!) and apply beeswax. This I duly did, and the result was superb.  When I buffed it up with a brush, it took on a really lovely sheen. See?

It has its own spot in the kitchen, so I can enjoy it every time I make a brew – which is regularly!

This weekend, I shall go for a walk and pick some dry grasses and reeds. I think a few stems of honesty will look perfect.

So you see, on the predictable – unpredictable scale, pottery is definitely NOT predictable. Maybe that’s why it excites me. I am going to investigate naked clay further this weekend. Just see whether this could ever be replicated. Not that I want to. Just intrigues me.

And now I am off to spend a day with my friend. We went to school together. Been buddies since we were 11 years old! Blimey that’s nearly 50 years! Half a century!


Love & Hugs,



60 thoughts on “Wot went wong? Pot went wong!

  1. That pot is absolutely stunning, what we are always told is a Happy Accident in the craft world. I love the unknown factor of it all, a one off piece but I bet your heart sank when the teacher started to tell you what had happened. Enjoy your day at the Spa with your friend.

  2. Blimey!!!!… what a stunner, especially for your first piece!!!… love love love it. Excited to see more of your pottery. X

  3. What a happy accident as Sue says ! A stunning piece of pottery and only after a few weeks ! I’d send you a couple of stems of Chinese lanterns for your display if I thought they’d travel ! LOL !! they’re in our front garden and the amount of people who have asked for a root is surprising, probably because they sold them at #6 (pound) a small pot at the local florist ! Have a lovely day – I’d love it! X

  4. Hello Barbara
    That is not wrong, it is a design feature! Actually, it is absolutely beautiful and I hope you are very proud and pleased with yourself.
    Enjoy your Spa day. Like you, I don’t enjoy those kind of days but you are spending the day with a long-term friend. There isn’t much that can top that.
    Love, Roz xxx

  5. A beautiful pot! Love disasters like this. I go to a spa with my best and oldest friend every year! We meet when we were 11 too. nothing like chilling with her who knows you best! Have a great day and thanks for sharing Love J

  6. What a beautiful pot, just love disasters like this. I go every year for a spa day with my best and oldest friend, we meet when we were 11 too. Nothing like chilling and being pampered with “her who knows you best”. Have a loverly day and thanks for sharing. Love Jilly xx

  7. Can imagine how you was feeling and thinking just show me my pot what’s left , well it’s amazing and you a beginner in pot making wow you should be so proud love it glad in prude of place needs to be out congratulations on an amazing pot . Enjoy your day of spoiling and fun with your friend sure you will have a good laugh together love Joy & Katie x

  8. What is it you always say, not gone wrong just a happy accident and what a beautiful happy accident it is too!! Absolutely stunning. Enjoy your spa day – I love being pampered. Always nice to spend time with good friends too. Xxxxx

  9. Gorgeous vase love it x I bet you smile.every time you look at it, i know i would 😊🤗
    Have a great day at the spa with your friend.

  10. What a stunner!!! You are a star to turn out something like this after so few lessons. Not an accident – it was meant to be.
    Enjoy your day at the Spa with your friend.

  11. Hi Barb,
    Gosh, I bet you were gutted when she was explaining everything that had gone wrong. I know I would’ve been. But then ,to see your pot! Well I wish I could have seen your face! It is lovely and with the beeswax on it , it looks fantastic. I bet you are so proud and I’m not surprised you have put it somewhere where it will be seen all of the time. I think it will look gorgeous with some honesty or dried grasses in it. Well done you – can’t wait to see your next creation. Enjoy your spa day with a treasured friend. Love and hugs,Alison xxx

  12. I love it. Soooo, next year will we be watching “Overcooked Clarity Clay with Barbara Gray! Well that’s a mouth full!

  13. See, Barbara! You’re teaching us yet again that there is never anything ‘wrong’ with our creative endeavours. Just learning. I love your pot. It’s beautiful. Keep ’em coming.

  14. Your pot is beautiful, not as planned and you had eyes to see it. Hope your day turns out as well as your pot.

  15. I was so nervous for you reading this blog post but have to say I think your pot is Beautiful and definitely something to treasure – enjoy your spa day x

  16. Love that pot. That’s the wonderful thing about potting- you are never completely in control and part of the experience is never knowing quite what you will get. I am so pleased you are enjoying your new potty time.
    Hugs from Chris X

  17. It is a truly gorgeous pot. I would be very proud to have it on my windowsill. Hope you enjoyed your pampering session. I have spent a wonderful morning in my daughter’s company back at the NEC for Festive Fair. xx

  18. Wow! I would be so happy to have that pot to look at every day so I’m glad it didn’t break or crack. The black colour against the natural clay colour looks very striking. Enjoy your spa day. Xx

  19. Evening bloggy friends, hope everyone has a fun weekend planned whether that’s going out and visiting or just staying in. Have fun. Xx

  20. Absosmurfly beautiful !!!! Another thing on my todo list… pottery. Has been for a while don’t know why I haven’t explored it. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  21. That looks really lovely. Can’t believe how it all smoothed out and what a wonderful way to use your Clarity product. I hope you had a wonderful day at the spa.

  22. What a thing of beauty! It is a masterpiece and so lovely.
    Congratulations and have a good weekend admiring your work of art.

  23. Crickey! That’s really, really good! Not that I know anything about pottery except that I had one go and ended up with something that looked like something those artificial dog poo’s look like all twirled sausages in a pile! – Enjoy your well earned Spa day x

  24. I love your pot, it’s beautiful. Sometimes the unexpected is a good thing.
    I too have a friend of similar years, since we were 11. We are both 58 now. There was a time we lost touch, when she went to Saudi Arabia to live for 4 years. But once she was back in the UK we carried on like nothing had happened. Special friends x

  25. The kiln gods are a law unto themselves….wait until you meet glaze elf’s! So glad you are enjoying your ceramic experience…..you’ll never tire of it. Have a lovely spa day ( not anything I’d enjoy) and a fab weekend xx

  26. Your pot is absolutely stunning. It just goes to show that even when things don’t go to plan, you can still end up with something of beauty.

  27. Amazing result. What’s the saying “A man (or woman) that hasn’t made a mistake hasn’t made anything. CoNgRaTs another string to your bow, you gifted woman you👑
    I’m learning to play Bridge to keep my brain working. However when I make a mistake we LOSE🙈…….work in progress!

  28. Wow Barbara your pot is absolutely beautiful
    A total one of piece of art
    Hope you enjoyed your spa day not to much torture eh . Have a lovely evening hugs x

  29. Your pot is beautiful! I would be chuffed to bits if I produced something like that.
    A Spa day is my worst nightmare, but I am sure that you will at least relax and have a laugh, sharing it with such a long time friend. Enjoy! Annette x

  30. Hi Barbara
    Wow oh wow what a stunning pot, it’s beautiful. The die cuts look fabulous on it. That’s one heck of a happy accident isn’t it, it looks great on the window sill too, perfect place. Hope you have had a fun filled day with your friend at the spa, old friends are the best aren’t they.
    Love Diane xxx

  31. A Gray Masterpiece! Fantastic just like you unique. I loved my pottery classes so know where you are coming from so glad you can enjoy something for you in your extremely whirlwind business life. Hope you enjoyed the Spa day. Xx

  32. Hi Barb, hope you enjoyed your spa day and relaxed with Anita. I love your pot, I think it is beautiful, and the subtle sheen from the beeswax is perfect. Take care all. Bx

  33. That is absolutely stunning. So actually nothing went wrong, it just wasn’t the way you thought it would be in your head. That just about sums up my whole life, but I wouldn’t change it, and I’m happy with the way it turned out – it’s just different to what I expected! Enjoy your spa day with Anita – those constants in our life are what keep us grounded, heh? x

  34. Gosh Barbara I was so sad for you thinking your pot had cracked or worse. It’s absolutely gorgeous, you should be so proud of it and you’ve put it in the ideal place. Hope you had a great day with Anita even though you thought you were going to be tortured. I went once on a Spa Day was dreading it but quite enjoyed it.xxx

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