Finding yourself through a new art medium
Why I learned to be more forgiving of myself through taking a pottery class
When most people take a pottery class, they expect to be like the scene from Ghost between the actors Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. The love scene is iconic and inspired many couples to try a new technique on a first date. However, my experience lacked the romantic quality and was more of a messy process. You don't have to feel bad if your skills, like mine, when I took a pottery class in college, failed miserably at your first attempts, and here's why.
With so many mediums that artists can use to express themselves, pottery is definitely one of the more hands-on approaches that leave me feeling as if I lose control. The different textures of clay, the speed of the foot pedal, and the positioning of hands all have a factor in how you can control the outcome of your piece. I believe I was too clumsy and lacked the confidence to continuously approach a Medium that was far outside of my comfort zone. Even though I made a few good vessels, I noticed that my lack of coordination would completely mess up the creative process during turning my clay into moldable works of art.
I learned that I didn't have to feel bad if I failed at pottery because I was just s student and like all practices, expertise takes time. Trial and error are good to experience because you are free to form your pieces at your own pace and destroy your vessels at your own will to start over if you so choose. No one is there to stop you. You can make whatever you like.
Enjoying a messy medium doesn't have many rules to it just have fun and go at your own pace.
Something that helped me in my journey in pottery class was sketching out vessels in a sketchbook to have an idea of what I wanted to create. I had a forethought in mind and that would help guide me into my hopefully finished product that would hopefully resemble my sketch.
After much practice, I spent many hours after class at the wheel to form my pieces into something worthy that I could show off for a final grade. All those failed attempts beforehand gave me time to keep trying my hand at the wheel and eventually make something that I was proud of.
The final result wasn't perfect but it was close to what I envisioned in my sketches.
After taking that pottery class, I realized that I’m glad that I tried something new. I liked that I tried something outside of my comfort zone and used another art medium besides paint-- something that I was used to to make something uniquely mine. Pottery might not be something that I envision myself pursuing but it is an art form that I enjoyed taking part in. It gave me the freedom to express myself in a different way.
What is one art medium that you always had trouble with? How did you learn from it? How did you feel afterward? I’d love to hear about your stories. Leave them in the comments.