Monday, May 18, 2009

Mixing it up

I look forward to monday mornings.

I know, I know. Mondays are tough. They are the uphill battle of days, the terrible transition between leisure and work for most folks. So why do I like mondays?

I made room in my weekly schedule for a ceramics class and I chose to take that class monday mornings. It gives me something to look forward to in that transition between weekend and weekday and it's a chance for me to approach the making of art with no expectations.

True confession--growing up, I was *never* the artsy kid. My mother was a fashion illustrator and a draftsman, my Aunt, an art teacher in the NYC schools. Alas, I have no talent in the visual or fine arts. None. Nada. Ziltch. But my son began to take ceramics classes when he was a 1st grader and finally a year or so ago, he convinced me to do a parent/teen class with him. And let me tell you, whenever your teenager invites you to do something with him, you don't pass that opportunity up.

So off I went with him on thursday evenings for 10 weeks of playing with clay. I learned to hand build and to wheel throw, or at least started the process. When the class was over, I wanted to continue and took the teacher's adult class monday mornings. I've continued ever since.

While I'm not all that good at it, I'm a competent beginner and I've been able to throw bowls and mugs of various sizes that can actually be used and aren't all that wonky. Along the way, I've discovered that I love having an artistic outlet that I can approach playfully and without pressure. Unlike my writing, I am not perfectionistic about my pottery. It is both a meditative and creative outlet.

I find that when I'm completely present in my body, my hands in the clay, it frees other parts of my brain to solve writing problems. In addition, ceramics, unlike writing, is a social activity. We work in a common studio in a small group and can encourage and inspire one another.

I think it is vital for creative people to find multiple paths to creative expression. While I don't ever see myself developing into a potter, I have found the process of ceramics a valuable way to mix it up and keep my creative juices flowing.

What other kinds of art do you do?

1 comment:

  1. I may have shown this to you already. If not, here it is again. How revising and trimming pottery are alike.