I stopped by the studio yesterday after work. I was on my way out with a few friends, but I needed to kill a few minutes, and I needed to let the air get to a few pieces that I had sitting under plastic. Anyway, as I was coming in the door, one of my new students was coming out and she had a huge grin on her face. She had just popped in to pick up her very first pieces to come out of the kiln. She was soooo pleased with them and with herself. I am pretty sure that if she had just popped into Walmart to pick up some bowls, she wouldn’t be as happy!
The act of making something yourself is very fulfilling, and helping people learn to make their own is also quite enjoyable. I like to know that the pieces I make are going to be used and enjoyed and not stuck in a cabinet behind glass, only to be admired from afar. I am a self diagnosed pot fondler, and there is no cure. I need to use the pots I make and the pots I buy from others. One of the things I look for in a pot (esp mugs and cups) is not just how it looks, but how it feels in my hand. What does the glaze feel like on my skin, and is the shape conducive to snuggling up in an afghan while reading a book? I like cups that fit the shape of my hand so that I don’t have to use the handle if I don’t want to, and I want the surface to be soft but somewhat textural to provide a pleasant tactile experience.
Teaching people to throw pottery can be frustrating. It is not that I get frustrated with the students, I get frustrated with the fact that the English language was not designed to verbalize what is a very tactile process, and the fact that there isn’t just one way to do it. That said, I really enjoy teaching and witnessing that “AHA/eureka!” moment that students have when the planets align just so and everything clicks into place and they just get it.