In-depth has been smooth sailing these past couple of weeks, but as you can probably guess from the title of this post, the ship didn’t simply sail smoothly on its own.
Last week, I continued where I left off, still making bowls. I do have to admit though that they have considerably improved as I experimented with different amounts of pressure through my fingers and different speeds through the wheel. Also, the repetition in my task clearly reinforced my mentor’s teachings as I found each bowl to be closer to what I imagined.
Now this week, I still continued with the bowls, but I also heard some good news! Next week I will be starting the basic form for a teapot! Through another session of hard work, I found that by the end, a lot my bowls were essentially what I planned for them to be and also, they were quite stable and sturdy. It took a while for me to get the bottom of the bowl smooth and rounded, but at last I believe I was able to achieve that as well. I’m really excited to learn a new type of technique next week!
These past two weeks, my mentor didn’t really have too much to teach me as I was still working diligently at making bowls, but he did offer me some key tips on how to make a more presentable product and also how to maintain my work station. There’s actually a lot of rules and procedures to follow when cleaning up such as what tools to use and where you need to dump the extra clay, but it’s all a part of the learning experience! Looking back, even about four weeks ago, my work station was quite the mess, but now as I have more control over the clay, it has clearly improved.
Next, to reference Ms. Mulder’s post as well as Edward de Bono’s How to have a Beautiful Mind. I found that these last two weeks, with more self-guided time, I also had some more time to casually talk with my mentor. One of the topics we talked about was our individual trips to Korea. My mentor spoke a bit about his students, family, and studio there and learning from de Bono’s book I stayed engaged and interested throughout the entire conversation. On top of that, I also shared some of my own experiences in Korea and some of my previous encounters with Pottery. I hope this conversation furthered our relationship as my mentor also helped me find a more personal connection to this project by connecting my interest in Pottery to my experiences in Korea.
Next week, I hope to have more fascinating photos of my pottery with more than just bowls, but until then, its practice, practice, and practice!