Skills – Competence Project: Pottery

A while ago I pledged to learn the great and ancient art of beekeeping. I contacted several bee schools and was about to enroll. Then I realized that it won’t be possible to have a hive this spring or summer, for the simple reason that there are no flowers nearby. We live in a wooded area. There are no fields or meadows close by, most of the vegetation is trees, shrubs and lawn. So I’m holding off on enrolling in a beekeeping class and the new plan is to first establish lots of bee-flowers around the property. That will take a good year, so the bees will hopefully arrive next summer.

Instead I enrolled in a pottery class. My first class was yesterday and I already threw two “competent” pots at the wheel (“competent” as in: they will hold water and they look okay, but their shapes are entirely accidental). Next week I will learn to trim the pots, then later to fire and glaze them. There will be hand-made sessions too, and I’m keen on learning how to make decorative tiles.

But I already know that my favorite will be sitting hunched over that wheel, shaping the earth with steady hands and sensitive fingers. It feels just great to work with the earth. To see the pot come off the wheel is so satisfying: I did that? And then to think how strong well-fired clay is, that it can withstand temperatures of over 400 degrees.

I’ve already added a pottery wheel to my wishlist! Maybe we can devise one ourselves. And a kiln…

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