The Biggest Mistake you are Making Now with Your Pottery

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When it comes to pottery, we always try our best. Whether it be making pottery from molds or making it on a wheel, or even with our hands, we are always trying to strive for greatness.


But, there is one mistake that you’re making with your pottery that you need to stop NOW. What is it though?


Here, we’ll highlight the biggest mistake you are making now with your pottery, why you need to learn to embrace and handle this mistake, and how to bounce back fast.


This Mistake

So what is the biggest mistake? Does it have to do with glazing or how you fire it?

No, it’s the mistake that every failure is bad and you should never make mistakes.

Embracing failure is a mistake that everyone needs to learn, and that’s because it will help you get better. Failure isn’t always a bad thing, for it allows the following:

  • An understanding of how you did it wrong
  • Exactly where you went wrong
  • More knowledge than you had before
  • It teaches you how to not repeat the same mistake

Pottery is something that has a lot of variables, and things can go wrong at any stage, including:

  • The initial throw
  • The centering
  • The firing
  • The glazing

To put it simply, there are a lot of ways that you can screw up in pottery making, and if you want to get better, you need to learn how to embrace failure. If you aren’t going in with that mindset or learning how to, you won’t get better.

It’s that simple.


Why We Need to Learn to Bounce Back

Learning to bounce back from failure is super important. It teaches you many different aspects, including the following:

  • To not wallow in failure
  • To see mistakes as a learning experience
  • To learn to not do the same thing again
  • To learn valuable tools to prevent this mistake

In order to get better at anything, you need to know how to embrace failure. If you don’t, and you get frustrated every single time you miss a throw, you won’t get better.



The Pros do it, So Why Shouldn’t You?

The pros definitely failed many times, and they’ve suffered some of the same failures that you have as well.

Don’t think a pro has experienced failure? That’s where you’re wrong.

Pros experience failure of all kinds, including the following:

  • Mistakes with clay-correctly
  • Dropping pieces
  • Using inappropriate glazes
  • Issues when trying out new techniques

To put it simply, failure is an option when learning to get better. Sure, you don’t want to only focus on failure, but in order to learn from your mistakes, you’re going to need to deal with making mistakes.



Clay is Volatile

Another point to consider is that clay is volatile, in that it can have a lot of changes, both good and bad and very fast.

How can it be volatile? Well, you can essentially have the following happen during any pottery session.

  • If the clay is too wet, it will collapse
  • If it’s too dry, it will crumble and collapse as well
  • If the parts aren’t attached properly, they break off
  • If the pottery piece isn’t bone-dry when fired, it will explode
  • Pottery is also breakable, so if you’re not too careful you could break a piece

Glazing is also super tricky too, and it has its own set of different factors, including the following:

  • If it’s too thick, it’s going to pool up, and cause cracks
  • If it’s too thin, it will cause an uneven texture, and can also crack as well
  • Shivering can also happen too when the glaze cracks and there are flakes coming off the surface piece
  • If you fire the glaze at the wrong temperature, it can cause explosions and cracks

So yes, there are a lot of different ways to mess up in pottery, and that’s something you will need to come to terms with as a potter.



How to Bounce Back, and do it FAST



So how do you bounce back? What is the most surefire way to make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of obsessing over your mistakes?


Here are a few tips to help with this:

  • If you make a mistake, don’t beat yourself up over it
  • Learn what you did wrong
  • Make notes, and keep a journal of your pottery journey
  • When doing it again, remember this mistake, but don’t feel upset and instead just don’t repeat this again
  • If you need help, always ask

Learning pottery isn’t something you’re going to achieve overnight. It just doesn’t work like that, and it is something you’ll need to master.


That is why, when you’re learning pottery, always be ready to accept that mistakes will happen. They aren’t just a part of pottery, but rather they’re a part of life.


That’s something you’ll want to remember when looking to better yourself.

By learning to accept making mistakes, you’ll be much happier, and you can stop getting upset over making a mistake.



Learn to Embrace this Flaw and Get a Better

Remember that when you’re learning pottery, the one mistake that you’re making is not learning from your mistakes and thinking that you’re going to get this right the first time. That isn’t how this happens, and after all, it’s only going to hurt you more in the future if you continue to beat yourself up every time you make one.


So yes, it stinks when they happen. Mistakes are never fun.


But, learning that mistakes are small learning experiences that are a result of either small little actions that get worse over time, or general stupidity, will help you recognize mistakes. When it comes to pottery, just like any creative art you need to learn that mistakes are a way of life, and something you need to learn to accept over time.


It’s the only way you’ll ever get better.

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