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In the Chaos: Failure and Success

To be inspired by the art of Rachel Ruysch for the current ABS challenge, is certainly no challenge at all. That does not mean that jumping in does not come with certain challenges. I really truly believe most things worth doing come with challenge!

Today, as I am scheduled to post, I decided to some show failures as well as successes. I tend to only show successes and it’s great to share those, but I figure why not also share some failures, because honestly there are so many failures in my work. I was just thinking how great it would be to have some kind of failure thread where everyone can freely share failures. How wonderfully educational would that be?! As an artist I use failure as my number one learning tool. My work is constant experimentation and when I open the kiln, I am faced with either success or failure…..usually both and sometimes neither all in one.

Here is my chosen inspirational art for this journey……so much inspiration in this one painting!

Here is a little moth I did inspired by the moth near the top of the painting. I am happy how the colors turned out on this one. I would say this one is a success for me.

Here is a moth I did inspired by the moth near the bottom of the painting. This one is not a total fail, but not a success either. There are many layers of color in this moth and I was aiming for some darker color. I love vibrant color. In the firing process colors can get lost and dull and depending on the color and the firing temp, some underglaze colors just plan vanish. Although I still like this moth….its not what I was going for. I suppose this one is in the neither success or failure category.

I would say these little porcelain mushrooms are mostly successful. I was going for darker tops like the mushroom in the painting but all in all I really do like these little guys! By the way, do you see the mushroom in the painting, it’s much darker and hidden. I love the background hidden stuff in paintings:)

And now for the biggest failure of the batch, my cricket (AKA grasshopper). Here is an example of many layers of color that washed out, and some that just vanished. He was meant to be much brighter and have a very dark background like in the painting. So this little guy is not going to make the cut at all….total redo. But these failures are never a total loss. I am playing with some new underglazes and this little guy teaches me I need to add more layers of color. I will try again till I get it right!

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”

 – Denis Waitley

Although my beads for the challenge were more of a fail then success, I do have some successes in the kiln that did bring me delight. I am working on my next show theme “Vintage Winter Wonderland”. This little 4D shake bead was an experiment. I was totally unsure of the result. I was not confident on how well the metal skate blade would survive on the piece through the high fire kiln temp. I am so excited to say that it worked beautifully!! This is a definite successful test piece and I will be making more of these for my show!

Here is another success from the kiln. This is my first experiment playing around with the idea of porcelain vintage ornament earring component’s. I am excited how the first one turned out, and I have more ready to go in the kiln.

May you fail much and succeed even more!!!!