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What a difference a year makes...

Well, in my case it should make a huge difference...this time last year, I had only just started learning how to throw on the potters wheel...I mean literally...I had just started. Maybe had 4 classes...maybe 5.

So yes, there should be a huge difference between what I can do now and what I could do then...right? Yes and no. Yes, I can throw using larger pieces of clay. Yes, I can create larger pots, better formed pots and mugs and yes, the walls are getting thinner. So yes, there is a significant difference. But for me, what I see as being a biggest change, the biggest improvement is how I work with the clay.

Trying to explain that last sentence may be a bit difficult because it is more about perception and feel. I can now feel changes in the clay as it is spinning. I can feel when there is something amiss and can frequently correct it before it is too late. I know when to slow down and when to speed up and when to apply more pressure or less. I can FEEL it in the clay and I can feel it in my own response to the clay.

That is not to say that I am an expert or even an intermediate. In many ways I still feel like I am a beginner and yet I know that I have developed skills over the past year that I was not sure I could develop.

The picture associated with this post shows three items. The small ones were created during my first pottery class - one year ago. Each contained about 2 - 2.5 lbs of clay. They are your basic hockey pucks...heavy and no real form. I was so PROUD of them when I make them. The bigger planter behind them was made recently. It has about 4 lbs of clay, the walls are consistent and moderately thin. It is well formed and makes a great planter. As my old boss and friend use to say..."Progress not perfection". That is a motto I have embraced. I strive for progress. I may never achieve perfection and that is perfectly fine with me as long as I continue to make progress.

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