V is for Vexing (AtoZ 2016)

I love metal clay. I really do.

Except when I hate it.

There aren’t too many times when I hate it, but when I do, the hate is strong. And I hate when it vexes me. You know, those times when I feel like I’m never going to get the design right. When I just can’t get the surface smooth, no matter how many times I go over it. When I break an item for the third time, right after I just put it back together (I’m looking at you, birdfeeder bead!). When I drop a piece and it shatters.

Particularly when I drop a piece.

Although metal clay is strong when fired, it’s fragile before that. Putting just a bit too much pressure on it or accidentally dropping it from an inch or two above the table can have disastrous consequences. I knocked the tray with my half-finished Julbock off the table where it was drying and watched in horror as it fell several feet to the floor and broke into several pieces. There were strong words uttered. Very strong words.

I try to look on the positive side. Things that are only slightly broken can be glued back together. Things that are completely destroyed can be repurposed as glue. But, in the heat of the moment, that doesn’t give me much solace.

What is positive is that things are getting less vexing overall as I go. I’m getting pretty good at gluing things back together. I also somewhat expect that things will change and that I’ll have to be nimble. So, when I do have to change my plans, it’s not a surprise. And I’m less vexed.

What vexes you? How do you keep calm when you are frustrated?



  1. What vexes me is when people (you pay money or buy things from or call for help) do not know their business or hate their job or are clueless and unhelpful.

    I’m usually pretty good with my frustrations – unlike my husband, which is then vexing me :-) – but when it comes to the irrational behavior of my computer, my buttons can – literally – get pushed!

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

    1. Ah, yes! Salespeople can be very vexing if it is clear that they don’t want to be there or don’t really know how to do their job. And I don’t mean new hires, who are clearing still learning but at least are trying!

      For many things, I can look at them as a challenge, so I can keep the frustration at bay. Thankfully, as much as metal clay vexes me, it also really, really excites me!!

    1. Yes, I suspect that everyone has a list of things – and it really does depend on the day, doesn’t it? There are days where a million things could go wrong, and it wouldn’t faze me, and other days where the littlest thing has me thinking I will never be able to do something. As long as there are more of the former and less of the latter, we’ll be ok ;)

  2. I almost did cry when I dropped my glass ring from a great height onto a concrete floor (before I annealed it) and it broke in two. Have never been so gutted to lose something before… I’d fallen in love with it whilst I was making it – it fit me perfectly and it was one I was going to keep for myself.

    With glass bead making my current vexation is bald spots in the pattern or colour caused by my bad encasing with clear, you can ruin a beautiful bead doing that and once it starts to go it’s almost impossible to rectify.

    In life generally unfairness/unjustness/inequality is what really vexes me, I don’t particularly keep calm, but it’s probably what keeps me in my day job, doing something about that!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

    1. I can completely understand – there’s no gluing glass back together! Or at least not without seeing the seams (and that’s assuming that it’s large pieces).

      Most of the times when I see “seconds” from bead makers, I really can’t see the flaws that they see. I wonder if it vexes you more because you see the pattern before the change and prefer the original pattern without the bald spot, whereas buyers just see a different, but equally nice, pattern :)

      I must admit, the fact that I can redo a piece almost as many times as I want until I’m happy with it is quite a benefit to metal clay, even over wax carving. I have purposefully broken pieces off of a bead that I’m working on and you can’t see the seam afterward. Or, even if you can, it just blends in with all of the other small cracks :D

      Hopefully you don’t come across too many instances of unfairness/inequality/unjustness in your personal life <3

  3. I like your sentiment of gluing things back together. I knew someone who fired a large pottery piece which broke, but he turned it around by mounting the broken pieces on a piece of wood. It looked great and almost like it was purposefully done.

    1. I like that approach! Often, if I break something and am upset about it I find I just have to get rid of it as quickly as possible or it will continue to upset me. But, with broken beads (or beads that just aren’t turning out) I sometimes have to take a day to think about how to fix it; if I tried to go in right away, I know that I would make it even worse.

    1. :D I thought that I was the only one who copies an entire post so that it doesn’t get lost on publish! I also do that with comments as they often seem to disappear if I forget to log into Google before posting the comment.

      I recently installed Grammarly to see what it was like and discovered that if you enable it for Microsoft Word it disables autosave and the undo feature! So I immediately disabled Grammarly. I would be lost (and much of my work I suspect would be lost too!) without those features in Word.

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