Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Playing in mud

I started a pottery class last night. My friend, Chanelle recently started going to college again. Perhaps she enjoys my company A LOT, or perhaps she thinks it is a good idea to have a professor as her friend in any class (even if it is unrelated to what I know well), or perhaps she thought it was time to put the potters wheels in my garage to good use. I don't know what her reasons are, but she went to a lot of work to get me into the class. She found the class and delivered the information to me and got the materials list and went with me to get supplies and then called and reminded me about class and we went together. (Quite a friend huh?)

The first thing that the teacher announced is that they have been so frugal in years past that they had a huge excess of funds and so we didn't have to pay tuition for the class. No, I'm not kidding. It was weird but I'm okay with free pottery classes. I still had to fill out a registration card and get officially enrolled and then when I had done that, the teacher gave an excellent demonstration about centering clay and turning out a bowl.

My goal for the night was just to get the clay centered perfectly. I didn't care if I had a piece by the end of the night, and I remembered how critical centering was for glass blowing. I think that all the glassblowing classes Laura and I took payed off because I centered the clay once and came very close a second time. I may be able to get faster at it, but I think I can do it now. Then I moved on to throwing things and worked on bringing the clay up and keeping an even edge of top. I would pull it up and up until it got too fragile and collapsed, or until my long fingernails (which I was informed have to go) got stuck in the clay and tore it. I didn't care when the pieces fell apart, I was playing in the mud and learning at the same time. How much better can it get? I threw pieces and collapsed them and then I would wedge the clay to get the air bubbles and some of the moisture out and then I'd rework the clay over and over again until it got too soft and then I'd get a new piece and start in on that. Everyone thought I was nuts to keep collapsing my pieces, which the other beginners thought were really great. Honestly though, I wouldn't have paid 50 cents at a thrift store for anything I had made so why would I fire it? My goal for the class (besides having fun and hanging out with Chanelle) is to be able to make dishes that I can eat from and that seem cool to others as well. I have a long way to go, but perhaps I'll get there. When I do, you may all get handmade dishes from me for Christmas, kind of like when I got into knitting and made lots of hats. Hopefully the dishes turn out better than most of the hats did.

1 comment:

Carroll said...

Sounds fun. I know you'll be great at it!