Sunday, 21 June 2009

Wheel of Misfortune

Last week I spent a day learning wheel-thrown pottery at Pottery Supplies in Brisbane. Our small class of five was taught by the talented and endlessly patient Grant Hodges, maker of wood-fired pottery and pizza.

I’ve wanted to learn wheel-thrown pottery for years, and finally thought that this six-hour workshop would be a really good grounding. So imagine my disappointment when I aaabsolutely sucked at it.

This is no reflection on the tuition, please understand (which was excellent). But although I constantly embarrass myself in the fields of sports, musical talent and Scrabble-playing, I do like to pat myself quietly on the back for being a bit of a natural at Art-Related Stuff. And boy, did I let myself down good and proper! Far from coming away with my previously-imagined series of elegant vessels, I actually produced three or four wonky, stubby little bottley-type objects which sheer bloody-mindedness forced me to bring home with me. I spent the first half of the class completely shirty that I was not an instant expert, and I’m sure I was very unpleasant to sit next to. (I perked up a bit after lunch though, and tried to be a little more zen about the whole thing.) And no-one ever told me how physical a process it is! My wrists and, weirdly, my thighs punished me the next day.

I have just gained a new appreciation of my silversmithing students. You guys are awesome!

(Photograph above by me, pots by students far more co-ordinated than I.)

1 comment:

AnnaM said...

Madeleine, I feel your pain - I absoluletly suck at it too!! I went to classes for eight weeks and sat next to someone who sucked at it as badly as I did. I produced sullen little pots on the wheel whilst hers were like something possessed - clay flying around the room and little demonic pots as a result. Needless to say, I have a bottomless respect for ceramic artists!!