Today I had my eighth pottery class, and every class makes me incredibly happy. Even if I don’t throw a single decent pot, I’m still happy. The studio is relaxing and calm even though there are always lots of people milling about creating things. Sometimes the projects are crazy (one day a lady was making a ceramic bust, as in a woman’s chest, nipples and all) and sometimes they are extremely elegant (a perfectly proportioned tea set or lantern). Every day I walk away dreaming of new things I could make and wishing I had the skills. I am improving slowly, and I learn something new every week…but I’ve still got a long ways to go! One day I’d love to have a potter’s wheel in my house or apartment, but I will also try to always be involved in a studio of people that I can learn from.
If going to a class two days a week makes me happy, you know what will make me even happier? This weekend, Nik and I are flying out to Jingdezhen…the home of China’s China! It is a city who’s primary industry has been pottery for over 1,000 years!!! There are ancient kilns, ancient pots and people who’s families have been potters for multiple generations. Everything I have read says that this town is a potter’s paradise, so I have high expectations (even though I’m not quite as hard core as real “potters”, but I’ve at least thrown a bowl!).
When I get back on Monday, you can expect to see lots of photos of people throwing clay around on a wheel. So as a warm-up, here’s a little preview from today’s class.
The story with the shoes above is that I don’t have any old shoes that I don’t mind messing up here, so today I bought a pair of basic black canvas shoes from a convenient store next to the studio. I see the locals wearing these all the time, and they cost only 15rmb ($2). Honestly, I love them. They’re comfortable, light weight and if they fall apart, I can repair them with a needle and thread. They’re so incredibly simple and perfect as potting shoes.