Monday, June 16, 2008

The pleasures of "DIY"

This year, I took a wheel throwing ceramics course with my 12 year old son. This is what I brought home so far. (More pieces to pick up after a glazing marathon tonight.)

I am sitting here listening to the white noise of the rain outside drinking tea in one of my new mugs. It's not perfect. The base is a little too thick where I didn't trim enough. The rim isn't even all around, and the bottom rocks every so slightly on the counter.

I don't care.

It's the first mug I've ever thrown, complete with handle. So what if it's a little wonky. It fits nicely in my hand and I made it.

Wheel throwing was something I had wanted to try for a long time. Of all the arts, ceramics is the best fit for me. I'm not a visual person, I'm kinesthetic. Creating art with my hands in a lump of clay works for me where painting or drawing, for example, would not.

When I'm throwing, the world recedes and it's just me and the clay. The internal chatter in my head quiets and my complete focus is on the round, squishy lump of sloppy clay I'm trying to center.

There is something immensely satisfying in making something by hand, particularly in our buy-it-now, buy-it-cheap culture.

Whenever I drink tea from this mug, I will think of the work it took to make, the laughter in the clay studio, the patience of our teacher, the time where my son and I worked together in a place where I was also a student.


  1. You always keep your first piece. Mine looks a lot less refined and a lot more lumpy.

    Seriously - I was throwing for a year before I was getting pieces as nice as those.

    Know-it-all hint: Get a piece of Chami from the auto supply store and use it to round out your rims. Yours seem a little sharp yet - completely normal.

    Excellent job.


  2. Thanks, Sue! I'm hoping to take another class this summer. Will look for that chami. I think hubby has some I can borrow, err steal from his car cleaning bucket.