Mini-Adventure: Pottery


PotteryIn my post Adventure Addict I encouraged everyone to pursue adventure.  I also stated you didn’t have to leave the country or even your home town to do it.  Well, I had a mini-adventure today in the form of pottery.  I have always wanted to try throwing pottery.  The way the clay moves with each touch has always fascinated me.  I have held myself back from pursuing it though.  I’m not exactly sure why.  I guess maybe the fear of failure or being made to look like a fool.  Isn’t that why we all hold ourselves back in most instances?

A couple of months ago my best friend and I made a pact that we would try to DO something for our birthdays.  Presents are great, but we both value the intangible memories a lot more than mere bits and baubles.  For her birthday we went to see one of her favorite bands in concert.  So as my birthday approached, she started digging for information about what I might be interested in.  We talked about a visit to the spa, but in the end I divulged that I had always wanted to try my hand at throwing pottery.  She thought it a strange request, but as all best friends do, she accepted my eccentricity and started researching where we might be able to make it happen.  She found a lady who did pottery a couple of counties over and who was interested in trying to start teaching pottery.  The match was made.

“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”

-Stephen King


As we approached Barbara’s studio, I have to admit, I was a little nervous.  According to Stephen King, “The scariest moment is always just before you start,” but Barbara was completely disarming and extremely welcoming.  I think she was nervous as well since we were officially her first students.  She started from the beginning with wedging the clay which works all of the air out of the clay and puts a spiral in it to make it easier to turn on the potter’s wheel.  She then introduced us to the tools and the wheel.  She demonstrated the technique and then let us begin.

It is an amazing feeling to apply pressure to a lump of clay and watch it change in front of your eyes.  It builds and flattens and thins as if it were a living thing in your hands.  It takes even pressure, a steady hand and then all of a sudden…it’s a bowl.  It truly is wonderous!  It’s harder than you would think.  The clay is very easily misshaped.  You have to have a firm but gentle hand and you have to concentrate.  One moment of distraction can have disastrous results.

As you can see from my picture, the day was successful.  I made two bowls, a cylinder and something that was a cross between the two.  But, I walked away with something much more valuable than a few pieces of pottery.  I walked away with wonderful memories of an adventure with a friend and a sense of satisfaction.  I accomplished something I had always wondered about.  I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave it a go.

Once again, I encourage you to take an adventure.  As you can see, it can be something huge…going back to college, hiking across India, climbing Mount Everest…or something more manageable…taking a pottery class, starting an exercise regimen or trying a new type of cuisine.  Adventure is what you make it.  If it is outside of your norm, then it is an adventure.  Be brave and have fun!!!


3 responses »

  1. I commend you for deciding to DO something. I set some goals for myself this summer – to finish some projects I had started, or intended to start – to DO something and have something to show for my time spent at home this summer. I’ve completed a few projects, progressed a little further on a few, but have so many more projects to do thanks to friends with ideas and Pinterest. You’ve inspired me to do more and maybe I’ll even take that master gardening class I’ve been wanting to take for a few years. I’ll anxiously await to hear about your next adventure. Who needs a birthday for an excuse?

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