On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

Three disc men,
Two simple blocks,
and a snowman family straight from the sea.

I thought it would be a piece of cake to whip out a few clay discs and turn them into snowmen. Not so. Simple idea, painful execution. This is a lesson you learn early as an architect – what is easy to draw is not always easy to build (we learn it, we just don’t always follow it).

What I didn’t know was that the glazing you paint on clay turns into liquid glass when baked in the kiln. If the glaze touches the kiln, well, get out your chisel because it isn’t coming off in one piece.

And guess what? Clay shrinks as it dries. the holes you think are big enough for the wire to thread the discs together, aren’t.

What’s more, if you aren’t careful (i.e. impatient and sloppy), the glaze fills up those holes. It cannot be drilled out. Believe me, I tried.

Did I mention how brittle thin discs of clay are after they dry? Not so brittle that they can’t be tossed into a Ziplock and crammed into a backpack for the trip to the kiln. Nope. Not that brittle.

But, as I say to Beck, quitters never win, and winners never quit. And, the true craftsman never blames his tools. And, you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.

Oh, and my all time favorite, if you don’t fail, you aren’t trying hard enough. I tell Beck a lot of stuff.

Click here to see the second day of Christmas.

On the Third Day of Christmas…

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