Passionate Pottery

Passionate Pottery

 

Going in Circles

The wheel turns; you find yourself looking at it as if it is a poisonous snake swaying to the sounds of the flute; you couldn’t move your eyes aside, even if you wanted to; you have lost any sense of reference; you have lost yourself in the spin and you are swiftly taken on a ride, round and round again.

Forgetting what you wanted to do, you simply stare in silence at the circular motion, looking with wonder at the spinning wheel, with no beginning or end.

A vessel is created out of solid earth; a heap of clay turns into a piece of art. A shape takes form in front of your eyes and a useful object is created, as if something is coming out of nothing.

 

The Splendor of Obedience

…Oh, it looks so simple, you are bewitched with awe; you also want to try it and then so quickly end up in a muddy pool and with an embarrassing wobbly lump.

It is hard to stay indifferent as one sees pottery in the making. The potter, as if possessing some secret spell, commands the matter to move; up, down, inwards and out, and the matter obeys in reverence to the command. The artist is strong, centered and attentive, while the clay yields and submits.

As you learn more about pottery, you learn more about how to control your hand movements and the clay. You develop confidence and you understand the basic stages of making a pot and the importance of working “right”. You begin to see the beauty that is enclosed in any vessel, in a rounder motion, in a shape of a circle and spiral, in the material and in a form. And even more so, you learn the art of controlling and surrendering.

 

Pottery as Meditative-Art

Choosing to apply pottery as a form of a Meditate Art practice is natural and almost trivial. Even those who have no interest in spiritually can find themselves speaking of this work as meditative, helpful to clear one’s mind, up-lifting, centering, soothing and simultaneously grounding.  

I sometimes notice that I use the exact same words in a yoga class and in guiding someone on the pottery wheel “You must have a solid centered base to start, learn to stay attentive, do not let yourself be pulled, be confident, stay strong but soft, be still, gentle but very precise, stay slow and patient – just feel”.

By simply listening to these words, we can sense the meditative depth of this beautiful art field.

 

Alertness, Attentiveness and Focus, Moment to Moment

The clay keeps  moving; one moment of lack of awareness and a cup turns into a bowl, the bowl into an unsteady vase, and the vase into a sticky, mucky spread all across the moving wheel. But, once you manage to get it together, to stay centered and in tune, confident yet receptive, controlling whilst listing to the clay… then magic happens and you fly, dancing the dance of creation.

 

From Mud to Art

The artist manipulates the clay and yet at the same time remains in love with it and develops deep reverence towards it. By working with the clay with respect to its needs, we wish to learn how to recognize when it is too thin or thick, too wet or too dry, heavy or weak; when it is dense, fragile, or tired. To stay creative while growing from past mistakes.

We learn how to start and when to slow down, when it is time to be open, when it is time to be decisive, when it is time to withdraw and stop, and when it is just too late and you have taken it too far.

We may also begin to comprehend the place of the creator and its relationship with that which is there to be tamed. And with this, we find ourselves bowing down with respect to the clay’s obedience and ability to change itself upon demand. 

 

Discovering the Unknown

Enchanted and captivated, the potter returns time and time again to discover what will manifest from his very hands. 

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