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Arrgh, Talk like a Pirate Day: Piratical CraftFail

By Heather, Dollar Store Crafts

Arrgh, mateys! Happy celebration of “Talk like a Pirate Day” to all ye land-lubbers, swabbies and mates! Here be a tale of piratical craft failings that would make Davy Jones weep.

<end pirate speak>

First let me start by saying I have an unofficial crafty “life list” of techniques I’d like to dabble in. Pottery was always on the list, but I figured I’d have to wait until later in life to do it because it’s expensive and time-consuming to learn. Well, I made a friend who is a potter and taught pottery classes at our local YMCA. Community classes. Classes were cheap, so I decided to take one.

If you know anything about pottery, you know it’s something you have to practice a long time before you make anything good. One two-month community class isn’t gonna net you very many potting skillz. I could probably show you photos of every pot I ever made here at CraftFail and you would giggle uncontrollably.

About the time I was taking the class, my first son’s first birthday was approaching. I planned a dress-up pirate party for his birthday. I came up with a brilliant idea for party favors: handmade pottery Pirate Medallions.

At least a month before the party, I rolled out a slab of terra cotta clay, cut out circles, painted black underglaze on them, and then etched out piratey designs of all sorts: skull & crossbones, ships, piratey sayings, etc.

Okay, I told you I made them about a month in advance so they’d be sure to be fired, etc. in time. Well, a week before the party, I found out they STILL hadn’t been fired… I scrambled around and had my potter friend fire them at the last minute for me with a load in her kiln and she over-fired them so they puffed up and got bubbly, and the terra cotta showing through the black got REALLY dark… basically, you couldn’t see much of what I’d etched.

This one here is one of the best ones. It doesn’t have a bubble in the middle, and you can actually read the etching. Most of the others weren’t as successful. I didn’t even give them out at the party. I was so disappointed because I had put so much planning and effort into making the perfect handmade party favor!

This handmade tricorn toddler hat was also a fail, but that's another story

Where are they now? My son used to play with them like money, and stuck them into slots all over the place (heater vents, etc.), so I have no idea where most of them are… Either that, or I threw them away. I kept this one as a memento of all the work I did on them!

Me and the pirate prince are distraught about our craft fails

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