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Failure.

Failure is something we are shamed about in our culture. The misery it brings is something to be avoided at all costs - even if it means not trying in the first place. After all, why should we do something that brings us misery? The answer is simple: we cannot feel the ecstasy of success without feeling the agony of our failures. Sure, you might try something and it may work out for you right out of the gate - lucky you. More often than not, though, you will fail. The heartbreak this brings is only amplified by the scale at which you work. That is, the higher you set your sights, the further you have to fall. Production pottery is a lesson in this for sure. Today marks the latest in a series of failures, each completely knocking me on my ass. But when life hits you hard, you can either give up or wise up, change your plan, and hit back. Already in my brief few months making production pottery, I have had to scrap literally hundreds of items due to defects, whether it be a poor glaze/clay fit, poor quality of materials, or a design that just cannot work the way a customer wanted. Each of these failures has made me question whether I can keep going; whether it is worth it to be doing this in the first place. Each of these failures has also taught me something, whether it be about the materials I am using, my own strengths and weaknesses, the quality standards of the ceramics industry, or the direction I am going and if is truly what I want. Each failure hits me harder than the last, especially with what seems like so few successes in between. Today, in the misery of my most recent failure, I almost decided to stop making pottery in either a production or studio setting forever - but instead of staying low, I picked myself up knowing that the brightness of my future successes will one day illuminate my life, ridding me of the burdens of my past failures, and I stand more confidently than ever before, knowing that my vision will become a reality.

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