ANNA PENG

What I Learned from Mouldmaking

I took a mould making course in school.

I remember never knowing how my pieces would turn out until after they were taken out of the kiln (and I would spend several agonizing hours on each piece making sure they were good enough).

When in the kiln, many things could go wrong: too much glaze, pieces breaking off, cracks forming, or something explodes. All of which is unstoppable and hard to predict.

But besides all of what is messy and ugly, there’s also the unexpectedly beautiful. Colours finalize, blend, and the whole nature of the piece changes.

And to get to see that, we still have to go through all the steps and the time.

The firing process is dark, requires patience, and it changes everything, but it has to be done. 

We’ve just got to fire and see what happens.


When You Think It Won’t Work

You can rationalize yourself out of an idea because there will always be reasons not to go forward:

not the right time, not the right people, not enough experience, too much responsibility, too big a risk, nobody would want it—“it just won’t be any good”.

We’ve gotten so good at saying no, that we forget how to ask, “But what if?”

Just suspending the idea of protecting ourselves from difference can give us one more reason to work against fear.



The First Scribble

A common trick artists and designers use to get over first-page jitters in a fresh sketchbook is to scribble something on the first page.

When that’s done, all of a sudden we can leave the idea of a perfect sketchbook behind.

Taking the first step never has to be the best step, so make your first scribble and move on.


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