Sunday, December 27, 2020

I Rented a Pottery Wheel for a Week, and It Did Not Go as I'd Expected

 For one, I thought I'd get the hang of the pottery wheel right away, or at least after a few tries.

Or maybe after watching a few YouTube videos with titles like "How to Center Clay on the Pottery Wheel."

Or possibly after watching a few more YouTube videos with titles like "Can't Center Your Clay on the Pottery Wheel? Watch This Video and You'll Definitely Get It!"

Yeah... no. I'm a big proponent of autodidacticism, but I just could not seem to get the knack of using that dang pottery wheel. Matt and Will also tried a couple of times--

--but that pottery wheel was not about to give up its secrets to any of us. 

Ah, well... we could still hand-build.

Which leads me to another misconception: Okay, fine, I did not poll the entire family before I committed to renting us a pottery wheel plus supplies for a week, but to be fair, WHO WOULD NOT BE INTERESTED IN SPENDING A WEEK GOOFING AROUND WITH CLAY?    

Yeah, my family. Would not. Be. Interested. In. That. 

Will might have been more interested if she'd gotten the hang of the wheel, but are these really the same babies who used to sit for hours and make entire dinner sets out of air-dry clay? I don't even think Syd consented to look at the clay setup for the entire week it lived in our front hallway, and she's the kid who once upon a time spent most of a week making an elaborate headband created from a zillion individually sculpted polymer clay flowers as a birthday gift for a kid she barely knew!

We're just going to call this the week that I played Arctic Monkeys really loud on constant repeat and felt sorry for myself while hand-building weird things out of clay.

Originally, my main thought was, "Shit! I paid $70 for this! I'm going to get my money's worth if it kills me!" But you know what? I got WAY more into hand-building weird things out of clay than I thought I would! I generally always had an idea or two of something that I wanted to make, and with the Arctic Monkeys blaring, the Thanksgiving vacation enabling me to take a break from homeschooling/supervising online schooling, and the rest of my family quietly pretending that the entire front hallway didn't exist, I had plenty of time to get on with it:

I made a lot of little pots that inexplicably have tentacles--

--and a bunch of plant markers that I got all my scrapbooking stamps dirty labeling--

...and a bunch of other stuff. Like, a BUNCH:

I've got Christmas ornaments and gift tags and coasters and phases of the moon hangings, and raincloud hangings and soap dishes and little magnets...

...and little pots with tentacles!

I LOVE them.

I love my plant markers, too, and now I can stop stupidly confusing my lavender and rosemary plants:

And now I'm left with lots of fun things to paint, to add twine and hangers to, to glue magnets on, and to give away or sell or add to my cluttered house's cluttered decor.

I can't say that I'm not always bummed whenever my cool idea for how everyone else in my family should spend their time doesn't pan out (you'd think that I'd therefore stop trying to plan out how everyone in my family should spend their time, but I swear my ideas are always super cool!), and I can't say that I'm not VERY much over this reality in which 2020 as a whole is pretty much just one super-sized class session in which the lesson reads, "Expectations are plans for future disappointments," but now I can also say the following things:

I enjoy hand-building things out of clay.
I am capable of adding tentacles to anything.
I have all of my scissors, and all of my sturdy glues, and all of my favorite pens nicely organized.
If required, I can entertain myself endlessly with the Artic Monkeys, a knife and a rolling pin, and 20 pounds of mud.

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