Thursday, June 6, 2013

As the wheel turns: Challenges and choices.

Throwing a 5 pound ball of clay on the wheel was too much for me.  After breaking my wrist a few years ago, I didn’t have the strength to do it.  It's so easy to stay in the past, even when it's not where you want to be.  Last week, I decided to present myself with a challenge.

I cut up three 5 pound balls.  Got out the bats and threw.

I had no idea what I was going to throw, actually.  I didn’t plan ahead.  I just threw the clay on the bat and let it take me for a spin.  The first ball came out as a platter over 14” in diameter.  I was amazed.  I’ve never thrown a platter and my plates have only made it to 8".  Encouraged, I threw on the next 5 pound ball.  This time, it shaped up into a bowl.  I’ve done many bowls in this shape, but, again, not quite this big.   I felt I could’ve pushed this one to be a little wider, but I got nervous and stopped.  I threw on the last ball.  I felt more relaxed now and stared at the ball a while trying to figure out what to make it.  Another bowl or platter?  A vase?  As I pulled it up, it became a wide, curved pot and I saw I was making a container for one of my Angel Wing Begonias or African violets. 

Suddenly, I realized the challenge was over.  I won in more ways than one.

I learned I’m stronger than I think I am.  And what was really holding me back wasn’t my wrist but my fears.  The fear of injury and the fear of failure.  I faced up to the fear of re-injuring my wrist and found out I was ok.  I faced up to my fear of not knowing what I was going to make and found three beautiful forms that I love to throw. 

Most important of all, I see that the challenge in life is always about choice.


Monica Devine said...

Oh, my thoughts parallel yours. Poems don't come as easily as they used to, and I find the reason is because I wasn't worried about an audience before. Now that I'm published, and will continue publishing, fear of how my work will be viewed is an unwelcome companion. In some ways, ignorance really IS bliss.

Susan Gallacher-Turner and Mike Turner said...

I do many ways, ignorance is bliss. As I get better, I expect much more of myself. I have to remember and remind myself why I do what I do...LOVE!