Working with the wheel

I mentioned in my first creativity post that I’m taking pottery classes. It sounded like fun and who doesn’t want some nice handmade pottery goods? The only thing I didn’t consider was the skills required which ended up being a big challenge!

The key to using the wheel seems to be a balance of soft, steady, slow touch and confidence with endless patience. None of these are in my wheelhouse (pun somewhat intended ;)). I’ve always had more success in pursuits that value being fast and strong – which is why all of my figure skating routines back in the day were to very quick music and never the graceful slow tunes. I lost a number of projects to the wheel when I applied a bit too much pressure or tried to move a bit faster than I should have. Eventually in the trimming stage the instructor told me I had to remove my tool before trying to move in because I could not go slow enough.

It was a challenge for me, best explained in this clip from “Community” which I had to watch after one very unsuccessful class.


All said and done I finished 4 projects in my 7 classes (as long as nothing drastic happens in glazing class next week). You can see three of them in their pre-glazed state below: the small brown bowl in front, small mug behind to the left (not the gorgeous mug behind to the right which was made by the instructor – not another classmate!), and then the bigger bowl behind my mug. There’s also a small pot not shown.


I am very excited for glazing class – the options are so interesting and exciting. I have to get some ideas in mind so I know which colour directions I want to go for each of them. Here is the pretty wall of choices in the studio!

While it was a frustrating and difficult experience at times I’m happy I stuck with it and have some nice pieces to remember it by, but I don’t think that pottery is my final creative calling!!


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