Ok, so it won't be my last, most likely, but let's just say it was not the best first visit to the Odyssey.
A little over a week ago I had called the Odyssey to find out what I needed to do to get some pieces fired in their studio. I talked to a woman and told her I would most likely come in on weekends and she told me that all I needed to do was bring in my green ware and find an RA (resident's assistant) to help me. She said I would need to fill out a firing form for my pieces and leave credit card information and that was it. Simple.
So this morning I started out taking 12 pieces for bisque firing but 2 broke in transit (one being a Christmas present that I have attempted five times now!) So things started out rough and didn't get much better. I arrived in the River Arts District and carried a box into the studio where I found a woman who appeared to work there and asked if she was an RA; she said she was not but would show me where the RA on duty was. She proceeded to lead me into the kiln room and to the RA (who shall remain nameless) that was loading a kiln.
This guy had "stoner" written all over him, from his dreads to his blank stare I could tell he was a little, shall we say...out of it. He pointed to a shelf and told me to sit my pieces on it, not even asking what cone firing it was or anything. There was only one other piece even on the shelf and it looked like porcelain, not clay...comforting. The good thing is I think with a bisque firing its at a lower temperature so maybe different cone pieces can be bisque fired together...hopefully.
So needless to say I was hesitant, but did what he said and unpacked my pieces, then went back to the car for my second box. When I went back inside the guy was leaning into the kiln, just staring at a piece; he had a small lump of clay in his hand. He looked at the clay and then looked at me and then looked back into the kiln and finally said he needed to go tell someone that he'd broken one of their pieces! Oh dear God...could this get any worse? The RA broke someones pottery! Great!
Then the next thing this guy does is explain to me how he loads the shelves into the kiln, telling me he does it a "special" way so the shelves don't block the heat and most people don't do it this way (I wonder why). None of this was even relevant to me but I listened patiently as he told me his technique and how he loads the kiln, all the while wondering if he even knew what he was talking about. Then once my meaningless lesson had ended, and once all of my pieces were unpacked, I asked him how to fill out a firing form. He said I didn't need to fill out anything, all I do is put my stuff on the shelf. I took a deep breath and explained to him that this was my first time ever firing there and told him about the lady I'd talked to earlier in the week and all she's said. Surprise, surprise, he didn't know anything about anything I was saying. So I told him I would just come back Monday and talk to the woman in the office. I then asked for his name, introduced myself and got a "hey Mallory" in return before I left the building.
I did leave my pieces there but only because he told me he would most likely NOT get a chance to load them into the kiln today. I'm hoping a different RA on duty will load my pieces tomorrow or Monday. Fingers crossed! So they are just sitting on a green ware shelf, nothing but my initials carved in the bottom of each pieces to show that they even belong to me, and I am still nowhere in the studio's system! And I actually thought this was going to be more organized that bringing my things to my mom's friend's house. Oh well.
So this was my first experience with the Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts. Monday I will have to leave work early and go talk to the woman who runs the office, see if I can get some more information. I have a lot of questions that I didn't even bother asking the clueless RA and I'm just hoping the office lady can answer them for me and get things in order. Pray for my pieces, because at this point I'm not even sure I'll ever see them again...
About The Artist
- I am a jeweler, a potter...an artist I suppose. I have been creating hemp, glass bead and wire jewelry since 1996 but have only been throwing pottery since the Spring of 2008. I plan to open my own gallery and workshop within the next five years but for now I make my work out of my home and sell in galleries and online. I sell my work to feed my hobby and because I am running out of room for my creations in the house. My art, like this blog, is in it's beginning stages and I hope that as my reader you will join me in my journey as an artist and enjoy it as much as I know I will!