This year I decided to try a new way to cook my Thanksgiving turkey. The technical term is ‘spatchcock’. By cutting out the backbone and splaying the bird, it cooks quickly and evenly. What I didn’t plan was the size of the turkey, the availability of an appropriate pan, the dimensions of my oven AND a visit from the Fire Department when the smoke detectors activated. The good news is the centerpiece of the Thanksgiving meal cooked perfectly and I learned some tricks for making my next attempt worry-free.
Here’s what I learned from my cooking attempt. Trying something new is filled with risk. Failure is always an option. But success is a strong possibility too. The lessons learned from an unfamiliar skill are valuable and build on the knowledge we’ve already mastered. Attitude is important too. Thinking positive – “I can do this” – helps. If there is a fiasco, learn from it and try again. It’s probably rare to have total success on a first attempt at a new skill. Practice moves us toward success.
Time in the studio reflects the same lessons I learn from cooking and other life skills. Taking risks with new shapes, techniques or glaze combinations does not always bring the desired results. Lots of time and energy go into a clay creation, so it's frustrating when the final product falls short of the desired expectation. Failure is good though, especially if the mistakes lead to future success. The point is to keep trying. Stopping after defeat is not an option. Observe. Learn. Make another attempt.