Music Played13 items
Nina Simone & Groovefinder Ain't Got No, I Got Life
(CD Single), Sony BMG
Emeli Sandé My Kind Of Love
(CD Single), Virgin, 1
Iggy Pop The Passenger
Screen Cuts (Various Artists), Virgin
Four Tops Standing In The Shadows Of Love
Soul (Various Artists), Polygram Tv
Lenny Kravitz Are You Gonna Go My Way
(CD Single), Virgin
Gary Barlow, The Commonwealth Band & The Military Wives Sing
(CD Single), Decca
Ray Charles Hit The Road Jack
Ray Charles - The Collection, Castle Communications
The Jam A Town Called Malice
Jam Story, Universal
Snow Patrol Chasing Cars
(CD Single), Fiction
Jessie J Stand Up
Who You Are, Island
Dionne Warwick Walk On By
Sweet Talkin' Guy - Sound Of 60's Gal, Old Gold
Whitesnake Give Me All Your Love
Now 11, Virgin, 15
Sandy Denny Farewell Farewell
Today's Confession: Kiln Me Softly
Dear Father Simon and the Team,
I have a confession for which I beg forgiveness. Enough time has now passed that I hope you can unburden my guilt for this incident which happened whilst I was working at top pressure for my GCSE Art exam.
Our art curriculum was split into 3 sections; painting, printing and pottery, and each pupil had to choose one discipline for their final exam piece. This went towards a percentage of the final marks and we were left in no doubt that it could mean the difference between a pass or a fail.
I chose pottery, as did several of my friends, and we spent many hours of our spare time during lunchtimes and after school to make sure we did our very best in creating our masterpieces. Everything was fine and we were very pleased with how our work was progressing.
But, we all had one problem. GCSE Art was seen by some pupils as a bit of a dodge, always preferable to a much more taxing subject such as French. One such dodger, whom we will call Matt didn’t like French but as it happened wasn’t that keen on Art either. Nevertheless it was the lesser of two evils for him and so to pass the lesson time he decided to launch a terror campaign against everyone else’s work. This reign of terror lasted many weeks and many ceramics succumbed to his destructive methods.
The unspoken rule of course was never to tell the teacher, as even we knew that being a grass was not the done thing. As the closing day neared for our exam pieces to be completed we all knuckled down, including Matt who now knew that time to complete the exam pieces was running out.
I’m sure you know this already Father Simon, but it was always best practise to knead your clay before beginning work as this would remove all of the air bubbles. Should this not be done, then upon firing the air would expand and an explosion would ensue. And then it hit me that I could perform the perfect revenge.
One evening after lessons, myself and a friend were working late, and when the coast was clear we both approached Matt's exam piece which lay covered with a wet rag. We lifted it, and each armed with a craft knife began what can best be described as the shower scene in Psycho. We then carefully covered over the holes with clay ensuring that the air within was still there lurking below the surface.
We then left, comforted in the knowledge that justice would be done when it was fired…
On Monday, we were all called into a meeting in the main assembly hall. What was going on we thought? Had the school won a prestigious prize? Or even better, had the boiler broken down and we would all be sent home.
No. We were addressed by our Head Teacher and the Head of Art. Over the weekend one of the kilns had broken down and so only one was available to fire our work. OK we thought, so a few of us may not be able to get our masterpieces fired in time. But then he continued. Due to the one inoperable kiln not only had our year's pottery been fired but also several A-Level exam pieces had been put into it as well. The kiln was well and truly stacked way beyond its normal capacity. And at its heart was the time-bomb waiting to go off, Matt’s hole-filled, exploding clay. My heart stopped and remembered what we had done the previous Friday.
You may have already guessed were this is leading...
Yes, there had been an explosion, but not just a small explosion. All but 3 pieces had been destroyed, nay, decapitated in an apparent freak accident. Matt’s creation (a croissant shaped bowl as I recall) now full of air, had expanded and expanded until the clay couldn't take it anymore and blew up into a thousand pieces. It took, shrapnel like, everything down with it. Carnage. Devastation. Apocalypse in a kiln.
There was a loud gasp and also many tears as the realisation that months of work was for nothing. Due to the lack of time before the assessments everyone who had lost their work had to use every last hour to re-do them, including myself and my friend, whose work were now amongst thousands of splintered shards which even Time Team could not recognise as formerly being ceramic artforms.
Simon, I beg forgiveness from you and the team, not for our plan which I still believe was a noble undertaking, but from all of the pupils whom had to spend so long sweating blood in such a short time to re-do their work as a result of our backfiring misdemeanour. I have lived with myself in the intervening years that maybe, just maybe it was someone else’s work that had exploded...I will never know!
Yours in hopeful forgiveness.