Crealdé School of Art
I am lucky enough to have two amazing art schools in the Orlando area and this semester I kept a promise to myself by joining one of them. I have always had a love affair with pottery. My mother’s youngest brother made a lot of pottery in college and later gifted it to her, we had a lot of thrown pots around the house growing up. I always appreciated the hand-made aspect of pottery, the artistry of it. Several years ago I commissioned a potter in Amelia Island to create a full set of dishwater for me, eating off it is an artistic experience. Taking a pottery class has been on my “list” for many, many years. I did create a couple of coil pots and bowls in middle school that are still in my studio today, but I wanted to learn to throw on the wheel. Easier said than done.
Crealdé School of Art is out of my 3-mile radius, by far! Which is why I have hesitated for years to make the trek to take this class. BUT, this year I decided this year would be my time to open my heart and mind to new creative experiences. I can’t believe how beautiful the campus is, the water garden, the sculptures, the studio space. It’s an inspirational heaven.
Right away I wanted to be good at this, and right away I was not. Our very patient teacher Vince demonstrates with his sweater sleeves pushed up to his elbows and his bare feet on the pedal. He makes it look easy, and he stays clean. I end up looking like a mason, covered in clay for the rest of the day. But, I love it. For the same reason I never wash paint off my hands, I love the clay covered jeans. The mark of an artist, a proud badge to wear for all the world to see.
Something from Nothing
As artists, our skill is ultimately creating something from noting. I create collages from a pile of torn paper tidbits, and beautiful pottery is created from a 25-poud block of wet earth in a bag. Vince told us we could make 30 coffee mugs from our $15 block of earth. So far, I’ve not been able to get one blob to rise up high enough up from the wheel to drink from let alone attach a handle to. The darn dogs have a couple of super nice food dishes though.
Pottery class is eight weeks, so there is time. Even if I have to get Vince to make one for me.
Left of Center
I’m a little off center in general, and this seems to be amplified by the potters wheel. When your clay lump is off center, your vessel is lop sided. No two ways about it. See how these pots (above) are thicker on one side than the other? They whiz around the wheel going Bump-bump, bump-bump, as a result of it. It’s kind of funny being off center and not being able to get centered…. but at the end of the day I am beyond happy to be covered in clay, to be out of my comfort zone (AND my 3-mile radius) and opening my mind and heart to something that will help me to grow creatively.
Beginning wheel throwing with Vince is Tuesdays 10:30-12:30 this semester with open studio time offered on other days of the week for me to practice. If you are interested in a class at Crealdé Art Center, visit their website.
For more information on my collage workshops visit my Facebook page for a complete listing of classes. No Facebook account required.