A Year of Yes, Weeks 3 and 4: Beginner’s Pottery

In week 2 of my pottery class we smooth, shape and prepare our bowls for painting and firing in the kiln. Again, two hours flies by as it takes incredible focus to trim and shape my dishes. Once we receive our instruction on the process it’s all up to me to finish my projects and as a result I barely look up or communicate with my peers.

In week 3 we arrive and are instructed on how to glaze and choose paints. We have a wall of colour sample tiles with recipes on the back of each to recreate the pattern. I really love bright colours and choose 4 different styles for my bowls. A bright blue, a vibrant yellow, a red and orange mix and then one darker blue-black. The yellow is straightforward and requires three coats. It is so happy and reminds me of buttercups. The two blues I choose require the blending of one to three colours leaving the finished product speckled.

Again, I spend a full two hours so engrossed in my task of painting clean lines. I try not to miss any part of the bowl for fear of a messy finished product, repeatedly painting it with many layers of glaze. It’s amazing to me that when the paint is applied it looks nothing like the ceramic tile samples. Yegana assures us that once it’s fired in the kiln the true colour will emerge. Currently, they look so bland and unattractive.

This week I note that there is much more chatter between the ladies in our group and some other art students using the pottery space for their own personal projects. We are getting to know one another and feel more at ease. It reminds me of a knitting circle. I don’t know why but I am surprised how meditative it all is. There is such a feeling of peace and contentment. How do I carry this over into other parts of my life?

In the end I feel that I could continue with additional lessons to cement my learning. I think it would be great to do while the knowledge is all so fresh…except I want to try more “new” things. This was a deeply satisfying experience and I am grateful to have gone back to something I loved as a child. The noticeable peacefulness, the satisfaction of working with and creating something with my hands, the community of like-minded women – it’s a wonderful environment.

At the moment, when I rather dislike the thought of having to go back to my “normal” life, it’s a welcome distraction. It’s the one where I’m packing to move house yet again. Our fourth house in Sydney in less than two years but I digress. I will ditch the complaining and go back to enjoying the bliss that has been my day.

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