Discovering the Wheel

When my friend offered to teach me how to use the wheel I was a little wary. I’d never done it before and I had heard many say that it is not an easy thing to do.

Initially I had just tagged along to keep her company. I brought my computer with me in an attempt to stay busy, but the soft whirring of the machine always pulled me away. I watched her work the clay. Round and round it went and then suddenly… a bowl! I was mesmerized. When she offered up a slab of clay for me to try I had to take her up on it.

The clay felt so nice in my hands. I kneaded it and rolled it into a sphere. The most violent part of the whole process was throwing the clump of earth onto the metal slab of the dampened wheel. All I had to do was kick at it a bit and then let it spin – which was not so easy as I kept tripping over my own feet. My friend pressed my hands into the clay to show me how to hold it until the clay made a decent-sized column. The hard part was making it a bowl. You have to press your thumbs into the clay and move your hands along the wall just so…

In the end [after many, many failed attempts] I wound up making a pretty  lopsided “bowl” with much help from my friend. I still have a lot to learn before I can make something of use. But it was a really fun experience and I can’t wait to try again.

Take a ceramics class. Even if it’s not your focus. You won’t regret it.

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