In the beginning, learning to be a potter is laborious. Wheel throwing is an increasingly difficult skill to learn and takes hours of practice to make a piece. What makes it harder for these students is growing up in an age of technology where we are less likely to be manipulating materials with our hands. Furthermore, the act of throwing an object is only one step in a line of processes needed to accomplish the project. There is a balancing act that consists of tooling your foot, possibly pulling and attaching handles or spouts, carving texture, throwing a lid, and, of course, decorating and glazing. To be a successful potter, you need to be able to juggle many things for one project to come together.
Introducing all of these new skills during the first three weeks of school can make students frustrated at first...especially given that it is a messy class that requires clean-up. But what most students find is a deep sense of focus and peace while throwing and that alone can encourage students to get back on the wheel after each failure.
What is amazing to watch is after only a few months, these novice potters become quite competent and confident in their artwork. Stay tuned to see them grow!
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