And then there are the disasters. If you've done this long enough you've almost certainly had them. The piece that blew up in the firing and got shards on EVERYTHING. The kiln shelves that collapsed during firings. The commissioned piece that cracked.
I recently opened up a kiln full of oval pieces for the installation I've been working on for the last month only to find that the majority of the pieces had cracked during the firing. I've had this happen once before, where I had neglected to glaze the inside of the pieces and they cracked because of the surface tension difference between the glazed and unglazed surface (dunting in ceramic-speak). I should have learned my lesson that first time, but I can guarantee you I won't forget it now. What a disappointment.
I will remake the pieces so I can get the installation done the way I want it, but I had been hoping to submit this piece to a juried show that's due next week. I am planning on installing the piece in the gallery, regardless of the cracks, and taking pictures, but I'm really struggling with the idea of putting up less than perfect work, even though I know it will be corrected before it goes into an important show. Still, it can be hard enough putting my work/my self up on display even when things are just the way I want them to be. It's even harder when things are so obviously flawed, even if the cracks do look cool. I guess that's just part of developing your thick artist's skin.
And next time I won't put all of my eggs in one kiln ;)