Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Throwing Pottery and The Great Pottery Come Back

It should be clear by now that this week {and likely part of next} are all about my Florida memories.  I want to know that the details and the giggles are safely scribed here so that I never forget my amazing trip.

It's funny because I used to fear going back to my hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida so much.  I would have weeks of serious anxiety and sleepless nights leading up to the trips.  While there, I was hyper aware of my surroundings and constantly worried that my mother would make a surprise appearance at the most public of moments. 

I've calmed down a lot over the last decade on this subject.  Which isn't to say I never think about it or worry.  I do.  But once Godson J was born, the oldest of the kiddos, my focus changed.  It just became more important to give as much as my focus to the people I love so dearly, rather than constantly focus on the what ifs that may or may not happen, but were certainly out of my control.  

So now I feel lighter and more in the moment when I am visiting.  Which is pretty huge for someone who is an introvert with anxiety.  Kids are just little magic makers and give you the freedom to let go of the ish.

Weeks before the trip, Florida sent all the sisters a group text asking if we wanted in on a random groupon pottery class.  However, she phrased it as having a ghost moment.  I interpreted that as some sort of creepy ghost tour.  What she meant was Patrick and Demi.  And obviously I was all over that.  

So the tribe set off to become famous potters.  In a warehouse building in Ft. Lauderdale.  With the most delightfully French instructor who was out back smoking when we walked in, but was totally fine with us bringing wine and cookies.

Now confession that I didn't even tell all of the sisters...I actually took a pottery throwing class in college.  Not for credit- just at a local arts center for fun.  And I was terrible at it.  It was 21 year old me and a bunch of retired folks reliving their arts and crafts years.  I felt so intimidated that I never even finished the course.  I could never manage to get the clay centered on the wheel.  And was a bit nervous that history would repeat itself.

The art studio was really fun to be in.  It felt interesting and creative.  I loved seeing works in progress and finished pieces all mixed together in the tight space.  I got the best vibe just standing in the studio!

We started with toasts and giggles and finally our instructor moved our attention to the clay.  We threw it and folded it and cut it to get the bubbles out.  When we managed to this with enough success to move on to the wheel, we topped off our glasses and took seats.  She taught us the proper hunch balance pose with your elbows on your knees {something I never learned in the class I took nearly 20 years ago in Athens, GA} and the importance of water.  When in doubt, slow down the wheel and add more water.  Or that was my takeaway at least!

We each had two lumps of class to create two bowls of some sort.  And guess who was the first to fail?


Frenchy, the instructor, gave me a lot of tsk tsk tsks and cut half my clay off and said I had to start again.  

Awesome.  Not at all embarrassing.  I was a bit nervous this was 1999 all over again.

I pulled out your most basic of basic shapes but at least I had something.  It would have to do.  

Then I looked over to see Florida and Little Sister absolutely rocking the wheels.  Clay savants were in our presence.  

I was determined to do much better with my second, final lump of clay!  And y'all...I did it.  

Basically I am a professional potter now.  That's what we call ourselves.  Potters.  I know, because I'm one.  Expect to find my work at art shows and art galleries and all the other pottery friendly places.  {But not, ironically, in the Pottery Barn.} They call me the comeback kid of the clay world.  {a world that is somehow both malleable and easily cracked}  

I'm not saying I was the best potter in the group.  Sincerely, I wasn't.  But I was definitely pleased as punch that my second creation was a big improvement over the first failure.  That's all we can really ask for in life, right?

Well that, and these photos of Godsister being Demi to my Patrick that we made Frenchy take for us and could not stop laughing while we posed.  This is what life is probably also about.  Letting go and being adorable idiots!

We had the best time laughing and playing and getting our hands dirty and I would do this all over again in a heartbeat.  Such an awesome group activity!!

Have you ever taken a pottery class?  Did you find the Demi that lives in all of us, too?


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