Warning: This post contains (a lot of) adult language.

6 Mar

Yes, I made this. Are you convinced of my talent yet?

This fall I started taking pottery classes at a studio about four blocks from my home. I loved it, but I didn’t really feel like I was getting much instruction from the teacher. Alan – who arrived early to walk me home one night – summed it up best when he said, “I don’t really see her teaching people. She just tells them what they did wrong after they’ve already ruined something.”

I resumed classes three weeks ago, but I switched to the Saturday afternoon session. It’s made a world of difference. Jill, the owner of the studio is there on Saturdays demonstrating different techniques, and she’s awesome. Not only is she a great potter, but she’s probably my mom’s age and uses the F-bomb without flinching.

Last week she was giving a demo on throwing cylinders, and at one point she said, “Now this is where you really need to just fucking push it hard.” OK. Noted.

Today, she was showing me how to attach a handle to a coffee mug. “Be sure you score it really well. Otherwise when you go to thin the handle, you’ll just rip it the fuck off.”

I appreciate the emphasis. It’s actually a lot easier when I return to my own wheel to remember exactly which step is critical.

I also get a kick out of the bumper stickers around the studio. They warm my liberal heart with their sayings:

  • I’m pro-choice: I choose not to have sex with pro-lifers.
  • The only Bush I trust is my own.
  • Neuter Gingrich

This week there was high drama when one guy’s pot became unsteady and zipped off his wheel, hitting his slip bucket (a bucket filled with water and clay drippings) and flipping it upside down over the head of the woman on the wheel next to him. She seems like a bit of an outlier for the class in the first place – she’s older, keeps to herself, and seems to raise her eyebrows whenever Jill drops the F-bomb.

In this moment, she looked about as happy as a wet cat. Before anyone could respond, she shrieked, “I need a towel! I’m using an electrical appliance in a puddle of water, for Christ’sake!”

Everyone paused for a minute, watching as she dried off and the slip was mopped up off the floor. Then, slowly, the wheels started to turn again. I’m pretty sure I heard Jill mutter, “Well, that was fucking exciting.” Indeed.

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