The thing about pottery is there are a lot of steps. I saw a video in my first ceramics class that showed a South American woman starting her pot by first going to a hill and digging up clay. Fortunately, I get to skip that part. The good folks at Campbell's Clay Supply are nice enough to take care of that for me. Even so, transforming the clay from a wet mass into a shiny bowl takes time.
My job starts with wedging or kneading the clay to get it prepared to throw. I then slap the ball onto the wheel with a satisfactory thud and the magic begins. I throw a pot. Next up, a day or two of air drying so that I can trim it and maybe add a handle in the case of a mug. More air drying ensues. Once the pot is completely dry I load it and all its friends into the kiln for a bisque firing. Eighteen hundred degrees later, I unload the now ceramic pots and glaze them, then load them back up for a glaze firing. Each firing takes about a day, and another to cool. So my 13 day deadline shrinks by the very nature of how clay becomes pottery. My clock stops at day T minus 5 at the latest. And that includes fans and all night glaze-a-thons.
So why did I wait so long to get moving, you ask? Well, I didn't, really. I made the decision to do this show late and I knew at the time I was already behind. I've been on the move ever since. A nap time here, a cancelled shift there and things are coming along bit by bit, or pot by pot as the case may be. Those mugs might still be warm come April 12th, but they'll be there. The key is not to panic.