Meet our Apprentice, Karen Dubois! As our first Apprentice, Karen is working hard to learn the business side of being a potter, while honing her technical skills. And as she strives to learn from each of us, we in turn are enlightened and inspired by her quest for knowledge and the perspective of seeing our own work and experience filtered through her. We are so thrilled to have her with us!
As a member of the collective, Karen was invited into the Village Conversations, and here she shares some of her thoughts on her current project of glaze testing:
Glaze testing seems intimidating. So much to keep track of: chemical ingredients, hazardous materials, minute measurements, metrics, decimals, MATH. Yikes! And then convert a small batch to a bigger one.
Did you get it right?
But, here at The Village Potters, I’m surrounded by potters with experience. Experience is exactly what I need. And encouragement. I ask questions and get good answers. Answers that are more than the questions require. Answers to questions I haven’t thought to ask.
These potters know their glazes. They have clear goals and a body of great work that they know will meet their goals. This confidence helps me develop my work, my goals and my skills.
Mixing glazes is a lot like baking. I can do that. You see a picture or a recipe that interests you. You gather ingredients, follow the recipe. You try it. Maybe the result is bad, awful, terrible – - yucky! In that case you don’t have to eat it. Maybe it would be better if you added some other ingredient or took one away or made a substitution. You make it your own. Maybe it is just what you wanted. YAY!
I want to have a glaze that makes me smile when I see it on my work. One that has my voice in it, saying ”I like me.” “This is good.”
So with that in mind I won’t be intimidated by glaze testing any longer — this glaze mixer has potential.