Throwing Pots

 Flashback to 2003 or so...

Flashback to 2003 or so...

Way back in my high school days, I happened to take a semester of ceramics. I had the choice to focus on sculpting or wheel-throwing, and something about wheel-throwing really jumped out to me. It's very physical (you really engage your whole body) but it's also repetitive and slow, and can be almost meditative. I signed up for a second semester, and had the joy of working with a very dear friend who is the grandmother of one of my long-time friends. She had a pottery studio in her house (one of my dream home features) and I spent hours there and threw a whole set of dishes. 

In college I got really wrapped up in my major (first music, then English) and never took any art classes, which I really am bummed out about. I also worked a ton, and though my major was creative, didn't have an outside creative outlet.

Fast forward a few years and my hobby (decorating) becomes my job. Still no other creative outlet, a tight budget (welcome to owning your own business!) and not sure what to pursue.

 Another old picture, as my pieces came out of the kiln (pre-glaze).

Another old picture, as my pieces came out of the kiln (pre-glaze).

When we moved to California, everyone told me that to make new friends, you have to go out and take part in hobbies to meet people with similar interests. My hobbies are very "internal" - I like writing, reading, and decorating my house. I looked for a book club but couldn't find the right fit. Finally I poked around for a place to do some wheel throwing, and I found a class in a little studio run by the Parks Department. Thanks to a little Christmas money, I signed up!

My first class was last week, and it was AWESOME. I'm sure I'll have some disastrous pots (the clay can have a mind of its own) but my first little lump of clay came up into a bowl and some muscle memory I didn't know I had.  It is far from the perfect piece, but I was so happy to learn that I still "had it" even though it's a kind of slow awakening. The people are really friendly and they played good music (KEY to good throwing, if you ask me).

More than anything, it felt so good to be creative in a different way than decorating. After my first class I felt energetic and inspired. Ready to do ALL the creative things - finally learn to play the guitar, work on my short story that is stalled out on the first page, try my hand at the watercolor set I've been too nervous to use. Creativity is an animal you have to feed, but then watch out! 

So glad I signed up for a class instead of trying to wing it on my own. There WILL be flops and setbacks, but this will force me to push past them. And I'm already learning new skills and remembering things that I'd long forgotten. If your creativity is feeling stifled, look for a class in your area of something you've always wanted to try. Carve out a little time for yourself! I bet you'll end up feeling renewed and inspired in all areas of your life.

Behold, my first wheel-thrown piece in 11 years...