I have been going to the ceramics studio for a week now, diligently leaving work at 5, riding my bike across town to arrive at PNCA in time to eat a modest meal and begin working on my balls by 6. I begin each evening by exchanging my wet bike clothes for my clay-caked studio garb: an old pair of cut-offs and a black long-sleeve skating shirt a high school friend gave me. I slip on my rubber clogs and begin checking on the balls I had made during my previous session to see if any of them need the bottoms trimmed off, then I begin to wedge the clay to throw on the wheel. I spend the next few hours making and trimming balls, and as the time passes, I lose myself in the process. I remember this meditation, and my body responds to the rhythm of the wheel turning the clay; I am in sync. When all of the leather hard balls have been trimmed and my new balls have been made, I decorate by carving or painting colored slip onto the balls, more decoration for the less spherical ones, less for the more perfect orbs. I have already noticed that I am getting better at it, as I have needed less and less decoration to compensate for my rusty throwing technique.
After having been away from the studio and making for so long, I feel as though I have just sprouted wings and learned to fly, as if a piece of myself I had lost and forgotten long ago has come back to me. I have gone through a wide-spanning range of emotions in the last few years, but this feeling, that of elation and absolute abandon, is one I have not felt in a very long time, and the other day in the studio, I realized I was so happy, that I began to cry. I know well the feeling of being raw, where your emotions are on the surface of your skin and any little annoyance brings about a flare up of anger and hostility. I believe that I am now experiencing a converse situation where any little wonder brings about a giggle; it tickles at the joy that resides on my skin.
2 years ago