Step on a Crack

Posted on: 16 July, 09

…and break your mother’s back.  This mother’s back is breaking.  Why did I decide to do two hours of gardening on the same day that I would be bent over a potter wheel for three hours?  Not such a bright girl, eh?  The garden desperately needed it.  I would like to say it looks wonderful now, but “better” is more than generous.  Gardening is not my forte.

Pottery, however, is something I could seriously get into.  While subbing for the art teacher, I have dabbled with pottery.  C took ceramics last year so he was able to more than dabble.  The art teacher had a professional potter come for a few days as an artist in residence.  David is fabulous, both as a potter and as an instructor.  He teaches classes in his studio.  I signed up the boys and me for classes.  C was thrilled.  J was somewhat forced because I think he will enjoy it and sometimes it is good to step outside the comfort zone. 

Our first class this evening was a success.  We all made at least two presentable bowls.  David’s studio is in the woods, really in the woods.  The last five minutes of the drive involved a dirt road, no street lights or cell phone signal.  Eek!  Cut off from my Blackberry was a bit frightful.  On the positive side, we watched deer frolic as we hunched over our pottery wheels.  We even saw a couple of young bucks strutting like a couple of teenagers.

I was one of those unfortunate children who was told that being left handed was evil, spawn of Satan and whatnot.  Fortunately, I was able to learn to write right handed, but that left handedness rears its ugly head at times.  David showed us how to place our hands to do different things.  I followed along diligently.  When he splayed my lump of clay on the wheel, I immediately reversed all of the hand positions.  Instinctively, it felt better to do it left handed.  I struggled to switch to right handed until David kindly flipped a little switch that reversed the direction of the wheel.  Woo hoo!  A left handed wheel.  Suddenly, my hands knew just where to go.  I guess those teachers didn’t beat all the evilness out of me with their rulers. 

David’s studio is a tad disheveled, like most artist’s studios.  There are tons of pottery pieces in various states of finished everywhere, bottles of glazes everywhere, bags of clay everywhere.  I noticed a piece of fur on one table, but the lighting is a little weak and there is lots of stuff.  I think to myself, “Odd to have a piece of fur out here.  Whatev…”  As I look for a place to put my purse, I notice the fur moved ever so slightly.  It was a cat, a very old cat who was barely breathing.  I was not sure this cat would make it until the end of class.  She is twenty years old, deaf, and only breathes about three times a minutes, barely.  As we were leaving, she lifted her with great exertion, and blinked at me.  I think we can blind to her list of deficiencies.  She let me pet her but I was afraid to be too vigorous because I would swear dry rot has set it.  Poor, poor kitty. 

I shall now go change out of clay encrusted clothes (pottery is messy business), take a few aspirin, and apply a heat pack to my aching back.


4 Responses to "Step on a Crack"

My husband once told me he worked with a guy who was telling him about his Catholic school upbringing re: handedness. He was left handed, but to make him right handed they used a belt to hold his left hand to the desk to prevent him from using it. We were also Catholic school students, so we were shocked by this story. About the only issue left-handed people had to deal with in our school was desks that didn’t have a rest for their arm.

Our own son is being encouraged to use any hand he wishes to eat/play/etc.

Well it sounds like good fun – except for the broken back bit. Glad you had a left-handed wheel. g

ooooh I loved my pottery classes. I had to stop when I became pregnant with ella because the glazes are somewhat toxic, but I did love every part of class….even cleaning my wheel.

Once Ella was born, I rediscovered my love for sewing, but I would love to take another class sometime! We use my tools for carving potato stamps and clay 🙂

It’s terrific–you taking classes with your kids. Sounds like fun. Hope your back gets better quick!

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