March 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

I spent the morning sat at the wheel at Kirkgate Studios today. Two weeks ago I spent two afternoons chasing balls of clay around the wheel. The feeling, I imagine, was something similiar to what it would be like if you tried to hold still the paddles on an old food processor while it was creaming butter. And the harder I tried to hold the clay still the more out of control the lopsided wobbling became. The expectation was a centered ball of clay, still, with the wheel turning fast and smoothly around it. Control, ease, almost grace. When the reality is a piece of clay that veers all over the wheel with a mind of its own and you are quite incapable of bending it to your will, it is incredibly frustrating.

Today started in a similar fashion. 3 1lb balls of clay that didn’t even remotely become centered. Swear words were loosened under my breath. Then, without thinking, I bent a little more over the clay, so that my body was well over the wheel, and I centered the clay. And I centered the next and the next and the next. Tiny adjustments can have dramatic effects.

Other tiny adjustments made as I drew the clay up into a cylinder gave me little signs of encouragement.

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