I am taking a wheel pottery class.

I am the worst student in the class. I actually made the above pot on the wheel, and if you have watched The Great Pottery Throw Down on HBO, you will readily acknowledge that it is pitiful.

I signed up for the class because of the pandemic. I need something to do. Writing books is not what I can concentrate on at the moment, and sitting around the house waiting for the booster shots to be available isn’t any fun.

So I signed up for BEGINNING WHEEL POTTERY at my local arts center. I soon found out that this title is completely misleading because everyone in the class but me already knew how to throw pots. First off, the instructor called all the other students by their first names.  Then, the woman next to me leaned right in to her wheel, and without so much as a slight hesitation, began to throw a teapot, for God’s sake. As the others merrily centered their clay and leaned into their wheels, I looked around in confusion while kneading the blob in my hands.

If you are expecting me to tell you that after a few sessions I got the hang of it, you are wrong. The pot above was produced on the final day of class. The other students, the ones who produced graceful urns, salad bowls, sets of dinner plates, and actual candlesticks, told me not to get discouraged. Nevertheless, I persisted in getting discouraged.

Figuring that perhaps wheel pottery isn’t for me, I signed up for Beginning Hand Pottery in September. No wheels involved. I swear, if on the first day, the other students start right in sculpturing birds in flight or busts of Beethoven, I am quitting.


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