Tom did listen to my not-so-subtle requests that another pottery class would be the perfect Mother’s Day gift. This time, I signed up at Riverbottom Pottery where my classes would be a little more flexible due to our summer traveling schedule. As much as I loved my time at the city studio (and especially our instructor) Riverbottom is much larger, with more options as far as clay and glazing goes. I also really like my new instructor – obviously he is teaching me his techniques, so I’m trying to combine them with everything else I learned to find what works for me – but he also pushes me to be better and to try more, and I really appreciate that.
At this point I feel like I’m no longer content to just make something. I want to make something that looks good, that matches what I had envisioned in my head. This has made for some frustrating sessions – especially last week. I find myself struggling to get the technique just right, and for the first time, took a completed cylinder that I had already lifted off the wheel and put on my board to dry, and balled it back into it’s original form. A shapeless lump of clay.
This is good though. I think. I do realize that perfection can be debilitating when it comes to handmade items – I’m pretty sure I’ve agonized over small mistakes too much, and yet readily admit that nothing I’ve made is perfect. I don’t want to be constantly unhappy with my pieces, but I also don’t want to be lax about correctly learning the skills and sharpening my technique. So tomorrow when I go to class, I will be sitting down with my instructor so he can watch and give advice, helping me figure out where I’m going wrong. I’m still not certain that I’ve got what it takes to be really good at this – but I am still certain that I love it, so I’m going to keep trying.
(more pictures on flickr – I will try very hard not to point out every flaw because I really am proud of the pieces I’ve made)
Update: Because of my instructor’s vacation, and my upcoming trip to Utah, I didn’t throw today and won’t for another 3 weeks – unless I can somehow convince my mom to let me set her wheel up. Hint, hint…