Thursday, September 18, 2008
Throwing Pots in a Zen Garden
I threw pots in a private Zen Garden today and what a great time I had. I went over to Tom's, my "ceramic coach's" house. Tom offered to help me improve my throwing techniques. Little did I know I would be transformed into another world of clay. Sometimes just the right atmosphere brings out the best the world of clay has to offer. After my hour's drive, the almond flavored water Tom served was very refreshing indeed.
We immediately went out back to wedge a few balls of Coleman porcelain. What a tranquil location in the middle of suburbia to throw pots. Tom's back yard isn't large, but what a peaceful place to be. I was greeted by Koi fish swimming in a half wine barrel with lily pads floating on tranquil water. I took a moment to observe the fish in their enclosure, darting over and under the water plants. I found myself reflecting on days when I was younger and lived in the city and had so much more free time. Now I live on a relatively large piece of land, but I have so much to maintain and much less time to enjoy some of the things I like most. Less is definitely more.
Tom demonstrated how he throws a pot, centering, opening and bringing it up. Then widening the pot and smoothing the sides. To most this may seem simple, but being mostly a hand builder, I found it fascinating to see another throwing pots so effortlessly.
I threw a few pots, but was learning a new method, so most of my pots got away from me. Normally I would have been totally frustrated, but I decided to let the clay be my teacher and take me where it would. Later Tom's wife, Delia, came home and she threw a few pots too. Another effortless potter. I took advantage of the minted lemonade Delia had prepared, what a treat.
Here's a few pots drying in the Zen Garden.