I have a reasonably optimistic nature. My glass is usually half full. One of the side effects of this optimism is that I tend to think ‘ I could do that’. Make a dress, paint a picture, fashion a piece of jewellery – no problem. I have in the past enrolled in classes to learn to do these things, with varying degrees of success. The life lesson from these classes has been that though most things may be easy to do, the real difficulty is in doing them well.
Recently I started a pottery class. As you can see from the picture above my best effort do date is
slightly very wonky. Nothing I have made so far, has been worthy of a trip to the kiln for firing but I still have two classes to go, so I will be making a supreme effort to create something that I would be happy to display. Our teacher Geoffrey Healy of Geoffrey Healy Pottery makes it look effortless. Naturally it’s not so. I suspect it takes countless patient hours of practise and experimentation to turn out objects that people would want to buy. Made by an expert they even look beautiful before they are glazed and fired.
As often happens when I become interested in something, I rub up against examples of it everywhere. Recently at the Picasso Museum in Antibes, I saw examples of the artist’s amazing ceramic work, and a few weeks ago, thumbing through a magazine, a picture of a pottery installation by Edmund de Waal (famous English potter) caught my eye. Just looking at the image of de Waal’s instillation, which consists of rows and rows of white glazed cylindrical pots, was calming, seeing the real thing must magnify its meditative effect. By a strange twist of fate, an upcoming book choice in one of my book clubs is De Waal’s family memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes.
Now I wonder if all of this is merely coincidence or is The Universe trying to tell me something about ceramics.