Once upon a time somebody didn’t listen to the instructions on how to make a pinch pot. They further didn’t listen to the suggestions on what needed to be done to make it eligible to be worthy of being graded, much less fired. This pot ended up on the reject shelf and abandoned by it’s student creator. It failed on so many levels it was kept around for a couple semesters as an anonymous example of what not to do. One day I thought it would be funny to scratch my name into the bottom of this weighty clay monstrosity. Eventually one semester I was helping with a new class of students learning beginning hand-built pottery. As it happened this more-than-humble-pot was being used as an example and Diane, the instructor, said, “I don’t even know who made this pot,” and glanced at the bottom. She immediately looked at me with a stern look, and exclaimed, “You did not make this pot!”
This got a good laugh from the class.
After a few more semesters went by John, Diane’s husband and the wheel throwing instructor at the time, became concerned that people might see this pot on the shelves and not realize that it was a warning and not an ideal, so the pot was decorated with a marker to warn people that this was not to be emulated.
Now this was in the long, long ago, and more than a decade has gone by. The pot is no longer used as an example of what not to do, but simply stayed on a little corner of a shelf with the visible warning. Today, as the last of the remaining ware was being disposed of, Diane brought this pot to me and said that she thought I should have it.
I wonder how long it will clutter my studio before it meets an apt ending.