Sunday, 12 July 2009

On Not Making Pots

At school we had one term in art that I really enjoyed. I wasn’t very good at art (as those of you who saw my somewhat basic felt-pen creation in a recent post have probably surmised), and most art lessons at school left me somewhat underwhelmed, but I really liked working with clay!

I’m particularly fascinated by the potter’s wheel, and one day I hope that I might have a go on one and make fabulous pots, bowls, and even, maybe a mug - I have a bit of a thing about mugs! Here’s a picture of my newest mug:
One evening, a year or so ago, I got home and picked up the usual pile of junk mail from the doormat. In among the offers of double glazing, bargain hearing aid brochures for the over-50s, and invitations to apply for credit cards with outrageous interest rates there was a prospectus for the local adult education service, which listed all the evening classes available within driving distance of my home.

Glancing through the prospectus I toyed with the idea of going to beginners Arabic classes, thought it might be jolly to learn how to ballroom dance properly, decided that I probably didn’t need the introduction to computing lessons, observed that I was too young to attend yoga for senior citizens, and eventually decided that it would be really cool to go to pottery classes and learn how to make pots.

At the time I was feeling quite lively and up for a new challenge. My part-time job was not taking up all my time, I had come to a bit of a dead end with music practice and my quest to play regularly, and I was watching way too much television, so an evening class seemed like a really good idea.

However, on reflection, the pottery classes started to present problems. When the prospectus arrived it was summer – how would I feel about driving 25 miles to go to a 1 hour class on a dark November evening? Hmm! Also, I thought about the other people who would be likely to do pottery classes in my part of the world. The Wonderspouse and I guessed they might well be ladies of a certain age, who might spend a lot of time in between the pot-making talking of their children & grandchildren and discussing the finer points of cake making. These, and other similar topics, are not ones that I can run with, being childless and of a slightly blokey disposition in the cake-making department (the way I get a cake made is to ask my Mum or my spouse).

So it was decided that it would be a bad idea for me to enroll on the pottery course. I decided that the time to learn to make pots would come when I was a wealthy old lady in a stately home and I could buy my own wheel and kiln and employ a beautifully constructed young man to teach me to make the finest pots. If I was lucky he’d also be good in the garden and could do the lawns while he was around!!!

But that still left me with a problem. I still needed to LEARN something. I still needed something to get my teeth into, something that would take my mind off simply being a humble admin clerk, something that would excite me, something that would enrich my life, something that would be more satisfying than spending my life watching interminable pun-filled daytime TV about antiques & house renovations.

So I went up to my study, logged onto the internet and ordered a different sort of prospectus, much more substantial than the local adult education one. I then read the prospectus from cover to cover and decided what I was going to do next.

All thoughts of making pots were forgotten as I started something rather different. So far, it has not involved clay!!


  1. My first commentless post! I thought that might be worth commenting on!

  2. Indeed. Like Bertrand Russell's catalogue of catalogues that doesn't list itself!