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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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Tammi Hartung
Tammi Hartung
02 dic 2019

Ahh, but they are absolutely perfect, as each original piece of art is. They may have turned out differently than you expected or wanted, but every piece you create is perfect, my friend!

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