Saturday, August 18, 2012

Throwing a Pot

I have been  throwing pots on my wheel for the past few days. I guess it is called that because you throw your ball of clay onto  the  center of the wheel and start from there.  A bit of ceramic terminology for you. Here is a picture of my hand in the cylinder I just made.The object is to take the round ball of clay and push it upward with your fingers to achieve the height you want.One finger is on the inside for support, the other fingers are under the clay and pushing upward so that the clay seems to carry itself taller. Usually it is the thumb or forefinger, or a configuration of both, that I use to lift the clay.  The cylinder form is where every pot starts, no matter where it ends up.  I like to make light weight pieces, so I am always playing a game with myself on the wheel. How little clay can I use to make as tall a figure as I want?  This is going to be a mug, so I will usually take a tool called a "Rib" to push out the inside and make a pleasing shape. It also will make the pot lighter, which I like.  
 I thought about how relevant it is to be on center while throwing and also in life. When I am focused on the present, the clay, or what is happening just then in life, it all seems to go smoothly. When I think about the future it creates an unevenness within. The clay can read this, and it resists. I think my mind, and then body, react when I go away from the now and into the future. Because of course, the future isn't even here, it is just a story I am telling myself. Stay centered in all things.  My art and life lesson. Your thoughts?


  1. being present is not all that simple as we are in content mode with words abounding; even in context, we are stuck with languaging.
    thought is past/future. emptiness is presence.

    it's all ok. relax. we are dualistic, yet let's be joyful fun.

  2. I remember a story that, I think Ram Das told, about making jam with his father (or it could have been another 60's era guru); his father kept wanting to talk about stuff, past, future, whatever, and our man kept saying, right now we are making jam...stay with the jam...this is all there is right now. An easy concept to blurt out and verbalize and so very hard to live, except when you are completely involved with the moment, be it breathing or breathing life into a wad of clay. It is our journey to not only evolve, but to actually be present. It is very difficult, I find.