Jan 2021 - One Month Course
First day of Week 1 felt like there was a lot of science and technique to understand and work with clay. This continued through every stage of wedging, coning, centering and pulling. But with more time spent on the wheel, it kept getting better. What felt like complicated would somehow eventually be better and sorted after a day or two. And it never really stops because there were days when I was struggling to center or pull the clay. There were days when I was able to do the same. All that mattered was to be mindful of what is causing the outcome. It did get slightly demotivating when non of my trials were resulting in the clay to be pulled up into a cylinder or a bowl. Just when I was about to come to terms with it being okay even I am not able to do it, somethign worked and the next I know is I can pull a cylinder and a bowl (not so perfect).
In the process, the little things that started getting better made a big difference to the learning process. There was less clay in the splash pan, the wheel became familiar. I used optimum amount of water. The understanding of when to wet the hands was improving. Eventually when handbuilding was introduced it created a sense of confidence to create a piece. Though the technique and output is quite different both wheel throwing and handbuilding have their own joy and challenges.
The week of making the collection was mixed emotions. There was a joy of being able to pull cylinders and bowls but the dount/disappointment on the functionality of the piece was also persistent. It was interesting to observe the steps after throwing a piece as well as trimming. But the learning curve of pottery is definitely not a steady incline. There were days when everything felt impossible and then there were days the process felt better.
The finishing, glazing and watching the pieces go through the end to end process showed how intricate and connected the steps are. It would have helped to witness the firing process on how the temperature was adjusted.
Special Note -
Feel the clay
Know why you are doing what you are doing.
A little wobble now and then will disappear with more mindful intentions. It's not just the clay but the body and mind also need to centered. Sometimes it helps to zoom out and see from a different perspective. Work towards perfection but learn with the imperfections. Little things matter.