Thursday, September 12, 2019

Pots and Parenting

As a child my parents got me a potters wheel, it ran on batteries,  I adored it, and the mess I was allowed to make with it. Desperately wanting to throw pots at the Roycroft school for artists, I begged mom to take me there, she did but the man at the wheel compared my tiny hands with his big clay covered ones and said, mine were a wee bit too small and I needed to grow them bigger, (I think he even winked at mom, ahh the conspiracy of adults). Eventually I got to throw pots on a real grown up wheel in High School and College, I wasn't that good at it, I discovered I'm more of a coil pot builder, which is slow and steady. 

Somedays like today, I see parenting as forming clay on a wheel. This evening was a total fail by the way. Where I hoped to smooth out a bubble in the wall of the pot on the wheel instead it went splat. You may kudos to you or may not know a bubble inside a pot in the kiln will cause the pot to explode and it will break the pots around it, you do not want bubbles in the clay. I watched my (parenting) pot wobbled and thin, I slowed down the wheel and pushed the clay back into the middle hoping to reform it, and raise something beautiful up from the puddle, but alas all I did was get covered in mud. I might have flung some on my hard working Knight in Shining Armor in the process. 

What do you do with a messed up almost pot shaped blob of clay full of air pockets? You have to take it back to the wedging board, to be cut off from the wheel smacked down on the board and kneaded, then you cut it with a wire and smack it down and knead it repeatedly until the air is driven out, eventually the sloppy wetness from the wheel has evaporated, and it has that elastic smooth texture. Then the clay can be thrown, (not carefully and delicately placed) but thrown on the wheel, to be spun around, centered, pushed, pulled and molded into something beautiful.   

It's not easy, it's hard work and is often frustrating filled with many failures. You may even get muddy along the way, but I know deep in my heart it is all worth it. even the failures