Wed 15 Feb 2006
My intermediate pottery wheel class starts today. I will galumph down the hill to the clay cooperative near my work and hope they let me get messy as soon as possible.
It is not the wheel which is intermediate, in case there was any confusion on that point.
I still have a little pile of misshapen bowls, vases, and pitchers from my beginner class last summer. Every so often I cull the worst atrocities and send them to a better life in the dumpster.
Weaning myself from the atrocities is a slow process. I have a certain affection for their uneven glazes, their variable thicknesses. Eventually they will all, with the exception of a bowl or two, go to the better life. My goal for the intermediate class is to double my save percentage. If the non-cull pile contains two to four items, I’ll be happy.
Actually I don’t do it for the bowls; I do it for the mud. That gray clay sure feels good, first when you are slamming and twisting it to get out all the air bubbles, and again when you sprinkle a light sheen of water over a lump of clay and press it down to center it on the wheel, and even more when it’s slick and growing like a wave into some interesting shape.
And at the end your hands and arms are white with drying clay, so you know you’ve actually done something with your time. If there’s no mess to clean up, you weren’t trying hard enough.