I found my first day of pottery instruction to be full of contradictions and just a touch of frustration of the “I’ll never get this right” variety. Maybe that is true of all learning. Firm but gentle? Getting the feel for what that exactly means seemed to completely allude me. Though it seemed easy. I managed to find comfort only in pinch pots and coils. The fact that even a kindergartner could probably manage to make a fine looking pinch pot I conveniently tucked away in the dark recesses of my mind. The places I rarely go.
Sitting at the wheel was daunting. I was the only true beginner (i.e. I come empty handed and with zero prior knowledge). I scraped up my weird looking sad excuses for a bowl at least three times, crumbled them back into a ball, and in the end walked away with nothing.
Slower…no faster…no slower. Foot faster, hands slower. Other way around? Wait, why is it doing that?!
Of course it didn’t help that the woman sitting next to me managed to make three miniature vases in the same amount of time. I spent at least half an hour mesmerized by what she was doing and forgot what I was doing. I couldn’t help but give her compliments…but she told me they were off-center…which I figured was not a good thing, though I couldn’t honestly tell, they looked more than fine to me. I’d be happy with my off-center masterpieces!
I’ve realized every person wants to get it right the first time around. The whole, “we learn from our mistakes” thingy, tends to, in that moment be missing from our brains. I hope I don’t get stuck on pinch pots. I hope I don’t get stuck on pinch pots. It’s like being stuck at the lowest reading level. Pinch pots are o.k.; but I want to master the wheel.