I'm one of those "everything happens for a reason" types. Not that I believe that life is predetermined... more that new directions can be discovered by events that unfold. Maybe it's part of the positive mindset - that I can see where something came from and where it will lead and I'm always putting a positive spin on things (I acknowledge that some people find these traits to be annoying, but–it is what it is...). I'm happy to say that recently, events have unfolded which have taken me in some very productive directions.
This week I've been busy testing enamels on COPPRclay again. The results have been very good. I've tested the clay in various ways (including enamel) since the end of December. At first it was frustrating because the enamel wasn't behaving as it expected. A few of us have been trying to get consistent results and the more we test, the more we're figuring out. Pam East and I talked today - she's been having lots of success lately too. It's interesting because we're doing some things differently. This is good. We like options. We had lots to share and compare. It's exciting stuff. For those of you who may try enamel on COPPRclay at some point, we hope that our discoveries will save you time and materials–get you right to the fun part.
I might not have gotten so completely caught up in the enamel testing this week if I hadn't visited Thompson Enamel last weekend. And I wouldn't have visited Thompson, where I worked with copper/fired copper clay, and with Woodrow Carpenter, who shared his experienced point of view and the suggestion that became a starting point for my tests, if I hadn't had to drive teens to volunteer at a camp in southern Kentucky. That adventure came about due to a (somewhat last minute) change in transportation plans. I'll admit that initially I saw the 18 hour round trip as a drag, but I wanted to help the cause.
I decided that since I was driving (practically) right past Thompson, I should see if I could stop and play on my way back. It's the old lemonade out of lemons thing. Now, I look back after my testing and see the reason... having to drive those kids was the catalyst for the testing this week that yielded these positive results. If the driving plans hadn't changed, I doubt I would have spent the last 4 days intensively testing enamels and getting these results (they're just tests - not works of art:).
Sometimes it's interesting to think back about twists and turns that have lead us to new places or new discoveries. And when a situation presents as less than positive, try to look for the silver lining. It's usually there... not to minimize the few truly bad situations we may encounter... but remember that sometimes, even in those, we can experience growth.
I'm in the process of organizing and documenting my test results so I can share them. Stay tuned!