Last night I took my first pottery class. It’s a medium I have wanted to try since…let’s be real….Ghost. It looked so fascinating to be able to shape clay with gentle thoughtful movements. It looked fun and a little sexy if I’m being honest ( ha ha).
While I’ve gotton close to buying my own wheel a couple of times, I’ve never actually used one until last night.
I had such a great time! First because I signed up on a whim with a friend as I never really allow myself to indulge in this sort of thing and second because I felt so free.
I think because clay is a medium I don’t have lots of experience with, it allowed me to approach it as a complete novice without any expectations of myself. It allowed me to play.
I just wanted to mess up the clay.
I just wanted to feel what it felt like to be wrong.
I was in the moment.
I was just having fun and I didn’t want being right to spoil it.
Something about clay spinning in your hands, moving as you push or pull it and suddenly it really didn’t matter what the outcome was. Bowl or mug or the same old lump of clay at the end, it didn’t matter. What mattered was the wet clay in my hands, the silence, the forces at work in the clay with the spinning wheel and the moment itself.
I’ve struggled with perfectionism my whole life, and the last year and a half has been a journey in learning to enjoy the process. It’s a complete brain re-wire to allow the process of creating to be the purpose.
What if at the end of a long session in the studio there aren’t beautiful layers of paint on the canvas. Would it have been a waste? What if in your studio time joy happens, creativity flows and you leave feeling fulfilled but with nothing to show for it; is it OK?
I think so often in our western culture we need the outcome. We need the ROI. And it needs to be tangible, some black numbers, some beautiful work, something.
And I’m just over here exploring what it’s like to be happy. To not have anything to show but being full of joy. Nothing but having the ability to show up and be present because I’m not worried about the past or the future or the ROI. Let me tell you, it’s pretty damn freeing.
So to say I enjoyed my first pottery class would be true, slightly an understatement and also just the beginning. I hope that next time I have studio time with my paints I feel just as eager to do it wrong as I did tonight.
If you are local and want to get lost in the process throwing clay you can visit https://www.koppertceramics.com to find out about Alisha’s current classes. You can also find her on Instagram at @alishakoppertceramics.
You can also look forward to process based art workshops happening at the Artphoria studio soon!