About a month ago, I posted about my shoes being stolen from the gym. I have since calmed down. In retrospect I brought it on myself. I left my shoes unsecured, I am lucky that was all that was stolen. Still doesn't excuse the person that stole from me for their actions. But had I locked my stuff up during my short shower, I would not have had to leave the gym barefoot.
Let me give a little back story into my latest fire fueled rant. I am sure some of you have gathered that I have been taking a pottery wheel class(es). If not, I am telling you now. This is my second semester working the pottery wheel and have also signed up to take a Raku firing class as well. Fridays are better than Christmas. Friday is the day the glaze kiln is emptied, so all of your hard work finally comes out as a finished piece.
During the last firing I had four bowls that were slated to come out of the kiln. I keep record and photographs of everything I make. However, a pottery piece really has it's final transformation in the final firing. Before it kind of just has a shape and uncooked glaze.
|Before final firing.|
|After; finished product.|
That being said, I can understand people not being able to locate their pieces among dozens of other pieces. On Friday I had a hard time locating one of my bowls. I looked around, I asked and I thought I would look again later or the following day once the commotion of everyone looking at their fresh new babies had died down. Again on Saturday I looked and couldn't find my missing bowl. I pretty much assumed someone had taken it. Even if my piece had been completely ruined it would not have been thrown out. It would have been left for the owner to collect the broken/melted/stuck to the glaze shelf piece. I didn't think the bowl worthy of being stolen. Quite frankly it could have used some refining before I had even bisque fired it, but I digress.
Fast forward to last night, Monday night. I was in the studio, chatting with an advanced ceramics student. She happened to be standing on a chair near the shelves we put items that are glazed and ready for their final firing. I spotted a bowl that was similar in shape to the one I was missing. I asked her to hand the bowl down to me so I could look at it. I was 99.99% sure it was my bowl! I told the gal that I thought it was mine. She said a girl in my Raku and throwing class was asking for advice on how to reglaze the bowl.
I studied the bowl and noticed she was trying to reglaze the bottom of the bowl, which is where I put my initials. So, in essence trying to cover up where my name is with another layer of glaze. And she had sprinkled some glaze inside the bowl to change the appearance of the glaze as well. I was so sure the bowl was mine that I decided to wipe the glaze off and check for my initials. If it was not I would have written an apology note to who ever the bowl belonged to but like I said: 99.99% sure! Lo and behold MY FUCKIN' INITIALS! I knew it!!!! That bowl shape and trimmed foot was too much my style for it to have been anyone else's bowl.
The advanced student of course said that maybe the girl who tried to claim my work was confused and thought it was hers. And sympathetically I almost bought that. But her work is really lumpy and down right ugly. Not to say my work is superb but there is a distinct skill difference between the thief's work and mine. I tried to think apologetically but the thief was obviously trying to COVER my name AND alter the piece for her use.
And that's when it hit me:
She has been quite vocal about how she signs her pieces. She has told anyone who will listen that she imprints her key on her work so she KNOWS which is hers. You know, in case ANYONE would confuse her work for theirs. Sounds awful fishy right? Preemptively telling people how she marks her pieces because she is afraid it will be mis(taken) by someone else. So there would have been NO confusion at all about my bowl as it did not have a single imprint of any sort on it aside from my initials. She stole my bowl on fucking purpose, tried to cover up my sign on it, get it glazed quickly (kiln is loaded Tuesdays) and try to pass it off as hers. That bitch!
This WILL get handled. I just have to figure out how to go about it. The bowl was made during and for the pottery wheel class which is Saturday. However, I will see the fucking thief on Friday during my Raku class. Should I confront her right away? Or should I wait until Saturday and let the instructor do it? Given the specifics and actions the bitch is guilty of trying to pass off my work as her own. But my VERY laid back teacher may side with the 'poor, confused, novice' and not address a serious issue. NO ONE likes a thief. And it is the same among the ceramics students. Last semester I had some tools taken right off of my work bench when I was turned away. Stealing someone's work is a problem. I think it should be addressed accordingly.
This person is in breach of the Guidelines for Student conduct. B: 15 Theft, fraud, misrepresentation robbery and extortion. B: 16 Academic Honesty. I won't bore you with the fine print legalese but you get my drift. I will ask for disciplinary action to be used on this thief who is trying to cheat her way to a better grade. Here is the really sad part... the class is an easy A. If you do the assignments and have attendance you have an A; no matter how yucky your projects look. It's art for fucksake not rocket science.
What would you do?
*all images borrowed from Google image search without permission.