Monday, May 26, 2008

Ohhhhh, my love, my darling, I've hungered for......a pottery lesson!

What do you get when you mix a 6'2" stud, a lump of clay and some mouth watering bbq? Our first lesson!

Our cousin, Shad, has been throwin' pots since high school. If you didn't know him, this might be hard to believe. He is a towering, powerful guy who, at first glance, might be a little intimidating. Once you start talking to him, you quickly realize that behind this hunk of man is a BFG (Big Friendly Giant). Once you see his pots, you realize that this BFG has a really gentle touch and skilled hands.

We arrived to find our teacher grinning and ready to get started. Over dinner, he started giving us some key lessons in using the wheel...

Rule #1: Take it slow, even when you freak out. If you are going to take your hands off the clay while it is spinning around on the wheel, do it slowly, even if you think you've messed up. If you move to quickly, you can really mess up your pot.

Rule #2: Symmetry is essential. Pots shouldn't be lopsided! Refer back to Rule #1 to learn how to avoid lopsided pots.

Rule #3: You've gotta know when to hold 'um. Don't flirt with danger, unless you want your beautiful piece of art to collapse.

So, these rules are so simple it would seem that following them would be a piece of ceramic cake, right? What's the first thing that our first sista did as soon as the going got rough? Her hands flew up and BOOM, her pot developed a twist...and not a happy, Chubby Checker, dancing twist, but a lethal twist that meant she reached her holdin' point. 
Despite the rough beginnings, all three of us went on to create three unique pieces, each with it's own signature features. Sure, looking at the finished works, one might say, "Oh WOW, cups!" But according to our teacher, this is the style with which the great ceramic masters started. Therefore, we are each technically on our way down the master path.

So, we thought we were pretty cool, creating these masterpieces in as little as 20 minutes each. We were quickly humbled when our cousin took to the wheel and in the same amount of time producing the following....

Yeah, so we still have stuff to learn, but that is the point! A shout out to Shad for his patience and hard work with us. He is one of the big chunks of the heart of our family and we love him dearly for all that he is!! We even have a deal to teach him some salsa moves the next time we go over to trim our pots.

For more pictures of our lesson, you can click HERE!

Until next time...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A lazy Sunday....

We are embarking on a journey of discovery. We realized not long ago that we know a lot of great people that know a lot of great things. We also realized that we know nothing.

Okay, so that is not exactly true. Between the three of us we can analyze storm water runoff for EPA compliance, salsa dance well into the night, and insert IUDs with ease. But let's be realistic, that's only the very tip of the iceberg. Just thinking about our immediate family we realized that there is so much to learn.

Thus, we have decided to embark on a journey to learn 100 new things. Of course we have set up a few rules:
1. One of our teachers each year must be under 8 years old.
2. One of our teachers each year must at least 80 years old.
3. We must learn at least 2 things a month. Only one of us has to be present at a learning session so long that the person blogs about their experience.
4. Each person can teach us no more than 3 things.
Suggestions are welcome! So let us know what you can teach us...we're waiting.