From Product to Process / by Amanda Gentry


Late last week I was in the studio sanding down bisqueware to the companionable, slow ticking of my kiln as it crawled up to temperature. The kiln had been firing for over 24 hours and by this time was at 1043˚—well past the "blow up" stage where residual trapped moisture forces its way out by means of explosion. And so, when I heard a sudden, soft and earthy boom, sound from within the kiln, I was beside myself. (I immediately got my technical firing guru on the phone to trouble shoot this mystery. We've got some ideas but I'm not going to bore you with the technical.) After the first, obvious exclamation, came a second which was preceded by a grin and chuckle: "It's a good a thing I love the making."

It's a mind shift I've been witnessing over the past two to three years. What is created is no longer precious to me. My relationship is not with the end product. My relationship is with the process. A boom in the kiln used to ruin my day. Now it simply makes me curious.