September 19, 2011

Plates and Mugs

I feel so thankful that I have the opportunity to throw pottery again. I've been practicing and working really hard. Compared to the pieces I made in college I feel like I've improved drastically. I even threw my first plates. I was so excited about these plates! If you don't know plates are very challenging to throw and get through the firing process without getting an S crack down the middle.


I've been feeling so good about my pottery lately until I met a wonderful man by the name of Henry at the pottery studio who, in a very kind way, told me I've been doing everything ALL wrong. Normally I would have been heart broken at someone criticizing and correcting me but somehow this has brought me so much joy. I feel like Henry was heaven sent and that I have a personal teacher. He's not afraid to yell at me from across the room, cut my pots in half, or grab my hands and say "like this".  And I suppose that's just what I needed.

Henry is a retired ceramics professor and has a wealth of knowledge. He's teaching me how to be an efficient and smart potter so that I can continue doing what I love until I'm his age. Throwing pottery can be very hard on the body especially if you work harder than you need to, like I've apparently been doing.

According to him I need to work with much softer clay, use much less water and make a hundred of the same exact thing in a row. And that's just the tip of the ice burg. I snuck these two plates and mugs out of the studio without him seeing them. I couldn't deal with him telling me to get rid of them. Even though its hard sometimes I know he's pushing me to be better. When I'm forced to make the same boring cylinder over and over just to cut it in half and see if it's even consistency I remember something Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do what you feel in your heart to be right. You'll be criticized anyway." That's exactly why I kept the plates and mugs because in my heart I'm proud that I made them and I'm sure if it's not Henry it will be someone else who will criticize them.

Do something today that makes you happy and don't worry so much about what others will think or say.


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