there was a year when i was going to be a potter. it was 2002 or 2003, and i was trying to find my craft: bookbinding was still a passion, but i figured that i would be more likely to make a living from creating functional pottery.
so i took a beginners course at northern clay center. i was self employed and wasn’t very busy at the time so i was able to go in and practice during open studio hours a couple times a week.
after one quarter, i still wasn’t completely confident in my ability to center the clay on the wheel. so i repeated the course for another quarter.
and then i repeated it again for a third quarter. after 9 months, i still struggled with centering. and i began to hear horror stories about how hot the clay center got in summer months when the kilns were running. so i stopped taking courses. (also, around that time, i had stopped seeing a boy that wanted to live off the land. i had crazy fantasies about the two of us, in the middle of the prairie, me working in an old barn converted into a pottery studio, while he worked the earth. when the relationship fizzled out, so did the potter-in-the-barn fantasy.)
reading a recent post about pottery tools had me searching the house for the few pieces i kept from that time that i was proud of. and seeing all of them now, i realize that i wasn’t a terrible potter. yes, my coffee cups were half the size they should be, and my bowls were really thick at the bottom and super-thin at the top because i couldn’t pull the clay evenly… but i was pretty good at finishing pieces and experimenting with glazes.
it’d be hard to fit pottery into my life now. my work-life is vastly different than it was back then. but maybe it’s something i can forward to doing again some day… maybe mr right has an empty barn…