This small casserole, made in the form of a mizusashi*, is one I keep around in the studio. I like it's craziness and want to remind myself to do this kind of decoration again--but in variation.
Unfortunately, it was part of a group of pots I took for a review for a co-op gallery in a nearby town. I say unfortunately because when I got it back in the box of pots and unpacked it at home, the lid of this casserole was chipped--As in dropped.
Needless to say, I was very disappointed that no one said a thing to me about the accident. Even a "Sorry, someone dropped the piece during the jury process." Better yet, if they had offered to pay the sale price or even the wholesale price. Even just an apology would have been okay.
I know these things happen. I was once in a group gallery in a big show in downtown Seattle when a customer dropped and broke a very large and expensive pot. (Not mine, by the way.) What did she do? Nearly ran out the door!
Actually, all the potters had agreed that if anyone broke a piece, we would accept payment if offered, but just say, "These things happen," and let it go. Maybe take a name and number if the person offered and give that to the artist for them to settle the matter between them.
It can happen to anyone. I've dropped my own stuff on the studio floor and broken it to smithereens.
But why don't people have the fortitude to stand up and own up? Fear. Money.
I'm sure if someone had told me at the gallery that my piece was accidentally chipped, I would have said, "That's okay; things like this happen." It would have been forgotten. As it is, every time I look at this pot, I'm a little angry and sad.
I'm also glad I didn't join the coop. If they treated jury pieces this way, how responsible/honest would they be with my work?
Breakage is a subject that should be discussed before any show or arrangement with a gallery; just so the air is clear and everyone knows where they stand.
*Mizusashi: Large water container for use during Japanese tea ceremony.