A bit of a breakthrough today – finally managed to get my lids to fit properly!! !!!
I remember feeling soooo damned proud of myself for finally being able to make lids that FIT. Not perfectly of course, but really snugly. And it took so many attempts till I learnt the secret of making lids that fit:
CALIPERS. Or in Japanese, you’ve got calipers that come in a set specifically for lid making - 内パス(Uchi Pasu) and 外パス(Soto Pasu), the former meant for measuring the inner part of the rim and the latter for the outer part of the rim. Using those in combination made making the lid fit the teapot body so much easier!!
It was pretty hilarious because after spending all that time piecing the components together by myself, there was a period of elation when I was able to admire the snug fit of the lid to the teapot body…followed by a quick realization that the entire thing was TOO DAMNED HEAVY. It weighed a TON. Even just lifting it to attempt the motion of pouring tea out made me feel like it wasn’t something I’d want to use. Ahh well.
Dealing with disappointment is something that’s an everyday occurrence in ceramics, I’ve come to realize. But as V and M would always chime in – “no attachments!” Despite that heavy feeling of disappointment in something that didn’t turn out as expected plus the feeling of regret of having ‘wasted’ time and effort, I do know that that emotional state is transient. After the initial wash of disappointment, once I’m able to move on…move forward, to redoing the entire thing again, I find that almost without exception, it will be smoother, better, more efficient that the one that just passed. Because with any craft, it’s just practice. Smart practice. And hard work. It’s always in the human mind though, to want to cling to the item just made, and to resist that feeling that the next time will probably be better. It’s the uncertainty that one has to grapple with in the process of creating the next thing.
At the end of the day, I can’t help but be amazed at how so much of ceramics reminds me of Zen. Yet another form of meditation and learning about life.
Wrote in my journal that night:
“Really, all it took was the proper measurement equipment to make life so much easier
Just grateful for the chance to learn this
Definitely knew I would be getting better
Main thing now is the details
Painful to realise that after all that time spent making it, it’s too damn heavy.
But main thing is to learn from it.
And I KNOW for sure the next time I throw it it will be far easier. I already know it.
It’s just human nature to be lazy and to not want to waste what has been made. In my case it’s the ‘troublesome’ aspect of making that’s tough.
But in the end, I must say that working hard and achieving something is really a blessing.
To be able to feel that it is attainable just with some more work…. That’s a rare blessing is it not? And to be able to have all the guidance I could need in the form of Sensei/M-san, who are right there for me to ask.
This is the perfect place to be for exploration, trial and error, failure and success.
I should relish in it and in fact the more mistakes I make, the better
Because then I can ask them all the questions I have right now.
TO MISTAKES. No such thing as failure. But to MISTAKES and MISSTEPS.
That point me in the right direction towards betterment.
Very nice coffee break time with M-san as well.”