The Art of Potting

Friday, October 27, 2017 - By: Holly G, Mackenzie ‘19; Photo by Glory C, Mackenzie '19

Potting is a messy art, but something magical happens when I set foot into Mrs. Elmes’ pottery studio. It’s like I become a human magnet for all stray particles of clay looking to see the wider world. And no matter how hard I try to walk out clean, I always manage to take some home with me: little smears that I discover during dinner on my pants, or shoes, or arms, or hair. It’s really quite frustrating. 

But pottery can bring up many emotions: optimism, first, as I start off with a fresh piece of clay, folding it into a perfect cone and then squishing it down onto the bat. Then mild irritation as I try my hardest to center that spinning pile of clay onto the stupid wheel. Then satisfaction, because I turned that wobbly pile of dirt into a perfectly centered opportunity just waiting to be crafted into a glorious piece of art. Fear then swirls in as I imagine the ways my fingers could slip as I slowly pull at the sides of the crater in my pile of clay. Assuming all goes well and it doesn’t crumple beneath my shaking hands, it will transform before my eyes: from a hole to a bowl. 

And nothing can compare to the pride that rushes through me like adrenaline: I have created a sculpture with my own two hands! With tranquility, I wipe away the scraps left behind, remembering the good times I had making that bowl. 

And those adventurous particles of clay will accompany me, no matter how hard I try to walk out clean. I’m a potter.

Holly G, Mackenzie ‘19

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