Amie visited my pottery class a couple of weeks ago, just for 10 minutes while DH picked up pizza down the road. We were glazing but I fired up a wheel for her and stuck on a blob of clay and centered it, adding lots of water. Then she put her little hands on the sloppy, turning clay and – wow! she could have stood there for hours, smiling, holding, feeling, turning with the wheel.
When it was time to leave she got hold of four chunks of throw-away and went to ask the teacher very sweetly if she could take it home. There must have been something forbidding in the situation – all those adults suddenly so intent on hearing what she wanted to say – because this is how she asked:
– Lisa, can I please take this clay home? Here [holding out one chunk] you can have this. And this one too [holding out another one], you can have this one too if you want?
Lisa accepted the gifts – quickly, before Amie offered her all of them – and everyone laughed benevolently. Amie was a bit flustered but happy with the chunks she got to keep. Oh, and I remembered those awkward social moments, and realized that this was a glimpse of the struggle she is heading for, quite fearlessly, as she exits that part of childhood when it’s just her and her closest family, and enters the world where things are asked and deserved and owed in certain, mysterious ways.
I brought home the pots and plates I made. I was more adventurous with the clay this session, with the result that there were less pots to bring home (and give away), but more lessons learned. I took some pictures but in bad light conditions (it’s been so rainy here!).
I loved turning those plates, what a great tactile experience! And that glaze really put the birds up there in the sky (it’s a translucent white, the blue background was put on before firing as a pigmented slip over paper cutouts of the birds).
I’m so keen on a pottery wheel, but honestly we don’t have the space to put it or, with everything else that’s going on, the time to make it turn as often as it should. But we’ll be doing some handbuilding for sure.