Friday, July 30, 2010

Life Lessons from the Wheel: Part 1

I have been taking a pottery class this past month, learning how to use the wheel to create different vessels. Many of the steps involved in the creating of one of these vessels (aka crooked cups or bowls) remind me of the lessons I have been learning lately in this class called Living 101. Clay is prepared, molded, dried, baked and decorated before it's used as a receptacle for Grandma's keys or licorice candy. The next few mini essays will cover the steps in creating a vessel / creative life. As mine so far have been a little lumpy and bumpy, I expect the following entries will be filled with air pockets or fingerprints.

Step One: Prepare the Clay, or maybe even, Decide to Create a Vessel
Would you wish to make a mug, a bowl, plate or pitcher? How complex is this piece that you are trying to create? Depending on the size of the piece, a different amount of clay will be used. What direction do I wish to take today? If I decide to go back to school after a hiatus, I will need a greater amount of clay, the process will take a little more effort than deciding to have French vanilla over hazelnut (I do know that is a difficult choice, I feel your pain). The lump of clay is then wedged, or kneaded, to get out remaining air bubbles. Without this preparation you will pay further down the road when the gift for your mom explodes in the kiln. Just as applying blindly to a school can wreak havoc when you are admitted to an all female school, having the name Alex, short for Alexander. The preparation is not my favorite stage, I am always eager to dive right into the creating. But slowing down to make sure all the details have been mulled over is always a time/money saver in the end.

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