Keep your elbows by your side.
Hold your hands steady.
Make sure your hands are touching.
Now, gently squeeze your fingers together while raising your hands.
Focus your energy towards the center.
And don't forget to breathe.
Sounds simple, right?
Thinking about it, it really is amazing at all the little things that one needs to do while throwing clay on the potter's wheel. What's even more amazing is how the mind learns to do all of these things without having to consciously think about them. Sometimes, as a teacher, I feel like a broken record repeating all of these things, and yet, it's so cool to watch students progress and learn.
It's so easy for us in our society to discount the importance of making. You can get a set of dinnerware at Target for $39.99, why should you pay a bunch of money for a pottery class where you spend a bunch of time and energy feeling really frustrated, only to walk away with a few squat little pots at the end? The answer to this normally involves words like self expression, artistic development, creativity, blah, blah, blah. But, perhaps, for the more logical among us, the answer lies in finding a way to exercise the mind, making it more elastic by learning a new physical skill. In an age of computers, televisions and cars, we forget that our brain is also in charge of our physical movements and it really needs our bodies to be physically stimulated in order to be truly healthy.
One a less abstract note, I delivered my 80 bowls to the women's shelter yesterday and have started working on some new 3-D "tiles" that I can't wait to see come out of the kiln. Hopefully there won't be any major cracking...
Hope you all are enjoy spring now that she has decided to grace us with her presence.