#88: Poor Scientist

Breakfast plate: ham and eggs, carrots, Brussels sprouts, crunchy garlic topping. Fork tines in bottom left corner.
Islandview, Detroit, MI

Pottery, Week 3. Tried to recreate a teapot I’d seen online. Minus the handle. And the spout. And I can’t fathom lids right now. Really, I just wanted the shape of it.

The first throw came out in a hopeful direction, proportionally, but the pot was much bigger than I’d wanted. On both my next two attempts the walls were too thin; more clay for the recycle pile. Throw number four was the best of the bunch, and I stepped away from the wheel to grab a strip of wet paper towel to clean up the rim only to come back to a bowl collapsed, from centripetal force and not enough water. The lesson here: if you’re going to leave the wheel, turn it off first.

Just today I watched my first set of wheel throwing tutorials on YouTube. Why did I wait this long? Could be that I’ve never liked homework much. Or that in the beginning the class itself was enough to satiate me. The progress was quick and the feedback more apparent. Now the pace of learning has slowed and I have found myself with a set of what I think are Laws of Ceramics but really are misplaced (and not always conscious) theories. My first plateau. And I tend to get stuck here for longer than I would like because I am a poor scientist; I want too much for my hypotheses to be true.

Can you take a look at this. What am I doing wrong here. Why can’t I get the sides to lift evenly. All questions I could be asking the instructor (and will be next week). Reformulate, re-test, fail, repeat. Getting better at art, I think, is most definitely a science.