Yesterday I was so excited to return, after a few months away, to a pottery studio. I took a beginning wheel class across the city for 6 weeks a while ago and have been looking for a studio closer to home with another beginners class to try the studio and learn from another teacher to get the basic skills down even more. I finally found a studio I want to try in the hood and could align schedules to sign up for a class, this time 4 classes but some of the same stuff but with a different teacher. This also keeps me accountable to being in the studio for set amount of time and allows me to see if I want to join this studio.
The wheel is just as welcoming as I remember and I was eager to get back into clay yesterday and today. We were throwing these two days, will trim next week and glaze the week after for our finished products.
There is a meditative process that takes place when working with clay. It is therapeutic, like kneading bread, in wedging the lumps of clay to be usable in throwing. It is a bit frustrating but mostly rewarding to shape and center the lump and then so contemplative to work that lump into some form. I find myself growing in ways in this class that show me improvement but also I am integrating what I am learning from this teacher into what I learned before. This instructor is a bit of a stickler for form and how to do the thing in the correct way which is good for me to remember and learn right so I know how to modify into my style.
Some things I am remembering and learning that may integrate into other facets of life…
You have to center yourself over your work in order for it to be centered. Being centered over your work is key in making sure all is balanced. Perhaps this has something to say to the centering of ourselves as well?
There are times when you must go full speed and then other times when you must slow down to a pace to pay attention.
The clay will take form and will surprise you sometimes. Every movement of yours will reflect in how the clay takes form. Every movement of your finger or your body could reflect a change in the clay.
Every work that emerges, our instructor calls beautiful and means it. Every figure that comes out of the clay has definite potential.
The more I will work in this medium I think the more I will learn in life.