Tuesday, February 5, 2013
A Beginner..... again
Then I started realizing how much clay I was wasting and it became cost prohibitive to make that many useless bowls and glaze them. So I started making bowl after bowl, cylinder after cylinder, I brought a bucket with me to the studio and after I made all I could before my back ached, I dumped all of the clay into the bucket and recycled it. I stopped firing and glazing until I could get a bowl and a cylinder that I deemed worthy. I started reading books and magazines to learn what I was doing wrong, to learn what created visual interest in a piece of pottery, to understand my materials. I took workshops from potters whose work I admired. I learned for ten years. I am still learning. Some days I still can't wedge my clay properly!
When I started teaching pottery classes, it was the hardest thing in the world to get my students to give up a piece on the wheel that had gone way beyond it's life, too much water, too much grog coming to the surface, way too off centered, beyond any hope at all. Clay is so seductive when you are a beginner, especially on the wheel. You just can't stop touching it. But the best lesson I taught myself was knowing when to give it up and start fresh.