Pottery has a long lead-time. Between the throwing, slight drying, assembling, much longer drying, and two firings (which are themselves multi-day events), the deadline for Having Stuff Made is a lot further ahead of any given craft fair or gallery opening than it can be for most crafts.
My deadline for the Folk Fest is somewhere around now. I say “somewhere” because I can’t say exactly when it falls–it depends on humidity levels and kiln schedules, which are as erratic and dependable as a flock of coke-addled butterflies. It may be today, it may be in a few days, and it may even have come and gone without my knowing it. This has sent me into paroxysms of planning and throwing, and then revising and throwing. With limited time left (if any is left), I am looking at my completed and drying stock and thinking things like, “Dear god, why did I make so many mugs? I need to get going on teacups. No, wait, mugs sell better. Wait, I only know that about Bug teacups. What about cephalocups? I’ve never made those, except on commission. I should make a few and try them out. *makes three cups* Wait, this is stupid! I should make pate dishes; at least I know for sure they’ll sell… Hold on. I don’t have any bowls. I must make many bowls, in many sizes! Oh, now I have a shelf full of bowls. Why did I make so many? Why am I wasting time and space on things that are not mugs?! I must make more mugs! Hey, why don’t I try plates again? I’m sure they’ll sell this time! No wait, they will take away shelf space from mugs!”
The end result is a big jumble of stuff. Where my production schedule is usually much more coherent (two days of mugs, two days of cream and sugar sets, two days of teapots…), I am just making whatever my fevered brain thinks of at a given moment. Without even knowing if the panic will do my Folk Fest display any good.
It’s no wonder potters get a little erratic over time.