On the wheel, and in life, when you start working with newness, it is tough. Recently, I was given a lot of new clay. A type I have never thrown with before, and lots of it! As a 23-year-old who is incorporating pottery into her profession, this gift meant a lot! I have been moving around and haven’t had a studio home for an extended period of time with my own supplies or a body of work for a long time. So I had gotten pretty used to using the cream-cheesy clay that you use in your first couple pottery classes and had been throwing some pretty big and decent stuff and then moving onto the next one without tending to the rest of the ceramics cycle (trimming, glazing).
As I sat down to unravel my new package of clay, I noticed it was a bit tougher than what I was working with before. I have gotten used to embracing something new, but I have not remained long enough to move to the next level or to create a new body of work. Sitting at the wheel with my new bag of clay told me that there was more learning to be done when you stay.
The first couple of pots were rough. I wasn’t throwing my usual forms with the same ease I had been feeling. Getting centered was harder. My pulls were off. It felt a bit like my first few years on the wheel. The struggles were similar, but I am not. The more I throw, the more I am able to correct and start to apply the new skillsets I have learned.
Adjusting is tough
It takes time
You are not stuck
As I stay with my pots and embark on a new body of work, there is going to a be a lot of a re-learning curve. It is getting better, but it’s not there yet. I have something a bit harder to work with now, but it holds more potential. And I am ready. It will not be easy at first. It will take time. But you will adjust. You will throw new forms, even bigger than before, and you will have the chance to create refined products. On the wheel, and in life, don’t freak out when things get tough.
Breathe deep and keep going.
Even when you stay, you are still growing.