Greg ordered a half-dozen clay lilies from me over a month ago as a Christmas present for his girlfriend. They are her favorite flower and these lilies will never wilt so I thought it was a wonderful gift idea. I was excited to take on the task of making clay flowers, something I had never done before. Though, as usual, the process of making this order was anything but smooth.
I find that with special orders I tend to really stress out. I am always so worried about having a deadline for a piece and I hate that I have to rely on the people at the Odyssey to fire my work on time. This order was no exception.
I made the first set of lilies without a hitch and they turned out beautifully in their beginning stages. However transporting them when bone dry proved to be an issue and one of the original five broke during transportation. So I made two more in an attempt to get at least one replacement from them and they both broke as well, those even before I got them out of the house. So I finally wised up and made two more replacements and brought them to the Odyssey while they were still wet and let them dry at the studio. Those two both survived their first firing!
What stressed me out the most though, was that the final two lilies did not come out of their first firing until Thursday of last week! So I went that day and glazed them and prayed they would come out of their glaze firing on time! I couldn't pick them up any later than Wednesday because they still needed painting and I was supposed to be going to Waynesville for Christmas vacation. And Greg had wanted to pick them up Monday which made it even more stressful! Luckily Greg is a good friend and when I explained the situation he assured me that I had time. However, Monday afternoon I dropped by the studio, doubtful that the flowers would be ready, and found them on the glaze shelf ready for pick up!
So last night I painted the final two lilies and baked all six flowers to seal the paint. Greg came over just as they were cooling and he loved them! He said he knew where to go from now on if he had more gift ideas.
I still cannot believe how well the lilies turned out! They were a lot of work but so much fun and now I can add clay flowers to my portfolio. And I also have some great news...the two final lilies were also the last pieces I will have fired at the Odyssey because I now have my own kiln! I used the Odyssey to get this final piece finished but from here on out I will be doing all my own glazing and firing!
So this final piece of which I relied on the Odyssey's help to complete was a success and a great way to start a new chapter in learning this craft. Merry Chirstmas everyone!