The Year of Fun #31: Take a Pottery Class

Oh boy was I excited for this one – and it came at just the right time.

September has kind of kicked my ass back into action, after a summer where I really couldn’t do much more than be a sweaty, unproductive mess.

Honestly I probably would have bailed on the day that the pottery class came around, because I felt super overwhelmed with all the work and life stuff, but fortunately I had to pre-book and pay so I really had a big incentive to stick to my word.

This is something I’ve really struggled with this summer: committing to things that stretch my comfort zone, even a little bit – even if it’s likely going to be fun!

I suspect this is partly because of mild social anxiety, which I do acknowledge I probably have, and also pure laziness – I know it’s easier for me to use excuses like ‘I should really stay home and do some more work’ and feel all righteous about it… even though what I’m really doing is letting my fear of the unknown get the better of me.

Can you relate? I’ld love to hear if so, and if you have any theories about why we do this – and whether it’s just an introvert thing.

OK so: yes I went! And another upside to this particular class is that it’s 1-1. Yep, I got to spend a good hour with the famous Flying Potter of Brighton!

potters wheel

This is a real treat: other than the barista training I did earlier this year I haven’t indulged in a solo class in this YOF. But it really is my favourite type of organised fun: getting to pick the brain of an expert, no annoying interruptions from other attendees. I get to ask all the stupid questions I want!

The Flying Potter, also known as Adam, was super welcoming. I felt relaxed – well, for me – within the first 10 minutes.

We got started by preparing the clay – well, Adam did this and I watched. There’s definitely an art to it. After the dough – I mean clay – was thoroughly battered, we sat at the wheel and I learned what centring the clay is.

The Flying Potter

Yep, there’s an art to getting your clay in the dead centre of the wheel so it stays there.

Adam was super interesting too, and not just in regard to the clay. I learned about his very creative background, how he came to set up such a unique business in Hove – this is an art shop but they do pottery and painting lessons too.

But I couldn’t just keep chatting – at some point I had to get my hands dirty and actually do some pottering myself.

I’m still rusty on the terminology, if you can’t tell.

I was surprised with how physical it is – I mean, compared to painting which is still more physical than being at your laptop, but this is a FULL body experience.

So that took some getting used to. But oh how refreshing! The feeling of the clay, is something totally different from anything I’m normally doing – I guess probably closest to holding soap??

Adam explained what I was meant to be doing really well, despite it being really quite abstract and one of those things you have to DO first, correct and understand as you go on. Analogies helped too – don’t they always?

Anyway, an hour later – I had a bowl! It isn’t perfect I guess, but it’s mine – and it’s damn close to it. The next step is getting it fired, which will be done over the next week or two, then I get to come back and glaze it – which involves paint so I’m looking forward to that.

Pottery class

Overall, I’d say this was a 9.5/10 – it had it all, challenge, but not too much, social interest thanks to Adam being awesome, and creativity. Much fun was had! It lost half a point because I got clay on my shoes, my fault.

If you’re interested in checking out the Flying Potter and lessons of your own, check out artshopandpottery.com

Fun rating: 9.5/10

 

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