Sunday, February 7, 2016

BecomingMaster of the clay

Pottery and graphics created by Judith Parsons
It has been a while since I have sat in front of a blob of clay and willed it to become something other than what it is. It has been 30 years since I have taken a college course in pottery on the wheel. And it is incredible to be young again.

If you want to become stronger, do yourself a favor and take a pottery class upon the wheel. I had forgotten exactly how much of your body you use to wedge clay, and to center a ball of clay upon the wheel. My forearms and hands are “wooooohooooing” because I am using them again. My core muscles are admittedly a little tired.

The counter clockwise spinning of the wheel is mesmerizing. The hands in the water and the continual wetting of the clay is sensual. There is an incredible richness to the process, it is zen and it is grounded living at its best. THIS is living! THIS is what life should be, making something out of nothing.

It is in the process of the making and creating where the artist unfurls her wings and soars. It is magic to watch Cheryl Coon center, open the clay, and pull the walls up. She is the queen Goddess of pottery upon the wheel and I am in awe of her abilities.

It has been a while. Oh yes, it started coming back to me after ten hours at the wheel I was thrilled to produce 6 inch tall cylinders. Simple shapes, that took me back to my 21 year old self. I could see myself, the young me, at Armstrong state college. I could see the yellow plastic over-all pants I wore. My older hands over-lapping my younger hands.

Cheryl’s lovely wise words: “The clay doesn’t like to be bullied.” Center yourself Judith. Become grounded with the clay. There is no rush. “Slow yourself down, breathe and become the master of the clay.”

Thank you Cheryl for a fabulous re-introduction into clay. THIS semester is going to rock and roll!


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