4th Excerpt from The Book of Shards

Here is another old one, Enjoy!

' The firing was a moderate success. There were ample ash deposits; flashing and just enough soda sprayed in at the right time to cause carbon trapping on the rims and edges of the pots. Still there was something amiss with a few of the items that lay upon the table.

I first thought it was how they were jammed together on the small table, not being able to "see" them in their own space. I moved some of the better ones away, giving them a place all to their own upon a shelf reserved for those that made it. As time passed only a few were left on the table. I stood there in front of them and examined each one, turning it over and over in my hands. While I did this I started to remember doing this many times before, a time when there were more than just a few that didn't make it to the shelf and the table was crowded with pots that just seemed not quite right. Back then it was difficult to see them as I do now and the process of deciding which to keep and which not to keep took a great deal of time.

Over time I developed a theory about this process, it is very much like the chicken and the egg. I have come to realize that before one can truly begin in the making one must understand the firing. Of course one needs to first make things in order to fire them, so how can one understand the firing first if you must make things first? Trail and Error, over and over again.

A once full table of questionable pots has now dwindled down to a few. Back at the table I placed a pot off to the side, I saw the shard within and let the hammer fall... Shards sparkled in the sunlight as they spun and flew through the air. A twinkling sound could be heard as they bounced off the table and fell to the concrete floor. "Break out the shards" I thought. Even though I had done this countless time before this ritual remains as important to the process as it was the first time.

As I finished cleaning up after the "sharding" I realized that I had not kept any of my first shards and felt saddened. I looked down at the pile and picked out a couple of pieces that caught my eye. "These make better shards then pots" and began to rummage through the pile. I picked up several shards and I took great delight in them. "These are really good. Maybe I will enter them into a show..."


Shard on eh.

Christian D Barr



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