I threw a pot yesterday. Which could be interpreted in so many ways, but in this case means that I learned how to make a clay pot using a potter’s wheel. [Carol – aren’t you proud!?]. My friend Linda and I took a “Try It” class at District Clay, a new art studio, with a couple of other people and a jovial instructor. He was a good teacher, reminding us that our pots weren’t going to be perfect – because how many other pots had we made before this one? Zero.
It was tougher to get a big lump of clay rotated and ‘centered’ on the wheel than I thought – physically tough that is. You have to work the clay through to its core in the centering process. But once there, opening up the clay and then making the pot was very cool. Especially when you learned all sorts of hand positions for the different stage. The best? “The radioactive monkey sock puppet” hand position. (Just attempt your interpretation, and it will be pretty close.)
Here is a picture of my first pot, which the instructor was pretty pleased with. My second pot became a disaster, because I got too into the process: I was turning the wheel pretty fast (electric foot peddle), and I wound up with a mess. I turned the mess into a Muppet head, but it was too sad-looking to keep.
The evening ended, and the clay went back into a pile for recycling, as our class had only paid to learn how to throw a pot, not actually how to make and fire a pot to keep. However, the art and zen of it was just what I wanted. Note: being hunched over a wheel for two hours did do a number on my troubled back. The instructor said that one can throw a pot on a wheel that sits on a standing desk, which I would probably want to try.
I hope to go back for more classes, once it is post-2014-weekly adventures. (I think I will alternate years).
And that’s about it.
p.s.Radioactive monkey sock puppets rule.