Disaster lurks at every turn in clay making. I learned this lesson early on. Breakage or lackluster results happen. As I’ve gained experience over the years, I’ve learned to minimize these outcomes. But they can still occur and it's frustrating -- especially when hours have been dedicated to making a pot.
Long ago I adopted a philosophy that every pot has a life span. Some are very long-lived and survive for centuries (think museum pieces); some of the pieces have a short 'life' and don’t even make it to the kiln. Cracks, glaze mishaps and mishandling can all contribute to the death of the pot. It’s heartbreaking for sure, but the philosophy has helped me to quickly move on. Now, I might keep a shard of a favorite broken pot. Mostly I try to learn from the mistake and make the next piece better.