We have a new slow me down friend! It is ceramics. Every weekend, we spend a few hours struggling with soft clay, hoping it moves according to our wishes, preferably before we play with it too much and air hardens the damn thing. It is nothing like Play-doh okay?
Cracks! Holes! A break in the clay! We gather these are devastating events in the ceramics world, but are always dealt with deftly by our instructor. Because we are so new to the craft, there is little choice but to do things slowly and to just keep on trying. While I suspect our instructor would be keen to help us along, he instead has to deal with our excessive fumbling, since both of us are rather insistent on trying first.
We started first with some pinching/ kneading and then moved on to throwing. There was actually throwing involved – quite cathartic. But I think coiling is more difficult and at the same, more satisfying. It fascinates us, the act of rolling clay, stacking them onto a base, and merging the coils, before you spin the wheel, hold your tool in place, and let the spinning smoothe out your piece. It is rather hard to put into one sentence, but makes for a very good story to tell, I think. (Thus far, one listener expressed mild interest, and another was very taken. Both agreed it was very “smart”.)
I suspect the fascination derives from the fact that a simple cylindrical container requires so many steps, each of which sounds deviously simple.
We are just so happy we signed up for the class, because we have found this to be so much fun. We are also happy that many people appear to like spending their free time working on things by hand.
PS. On the days we go for class, we also find time to visit the nearby Whampoa/ Balestier area. I think we will have posts on some of the food/ supplies we found!