"Well, that's not really true," I tell her.
Certainly I have rules in my class, no bleeding is a big one, but, yes, it is a place to experiment and explore without a lot of restrictions. I had always puzzled over why having no rules was so remarkable to this woman. Then, the other day, she was telling her how shocked a coworker was when she told her how much she enjoyed not having rules in pottery because the coworker knew her as a strict rule follower. All of a sudden I got it! Being a judge, her life is all about rules and making sure those rules are followed. It must be a real release for her to be in an environment where she doesn't have to worry about being right and following the rules all the time.
Thinking about this, it made me realize how lucky I am to have a job where I can and should experiment and bend/break the rules. They say in art school you learn the rules so that you can break them. I guess, in a way, that's what makes artists artists is that ability to know the rules and be able to push them in a positive, constructive manner. Wouldn't it be nice if we could give those who struggle with the rules, who break them in a way that has negative and destructive consequences, the opportunity to be in an environment where they can break the rules in a positive and creative manner?
Just a thought...
Now I'm off to do some mold making. In many ways, making molds is a very right/wrong rule driven process, not intuitive and responsive like working at the wheel. Gotta channel my inner OCD tendencies if I'm going to get it right ;)