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Monday, September 24, 2012

Ceramics

It turns out I can't make ceramic dishware. Somewhere on my twisty-turny pasta noodles of DNA, next to eye color and affinity for remembering the names of D-List celebrities, there's a post-it note that reads, "Horrible with pottery wheel. Just disgusting. Will never succeed as artist." Fortunately, this fatal flaw probably won't come back to haunt me after I finish my art class, since those who are not professional potters rarely need to participate in pottering. Unfortunately, I need to pass this freaking class.

Six hours of class time, three hours of my own time, a stinging cut up the side of my pinky, a splattered and stained pair of jeans, and ten destroyed fingernails were all part of this week's sacrifice to the pottery gods. And what did I have to show for it? Four "bowls" (in quotation marks because each one was lopsided and likely couldn't hold liquid) when eight were due. When I heard the teacher call my name and ask to grade my finished product, I took a deep breath, plopped the little disasters before him, and tried to look as innocent as possible. I think I curtsied. I probably curtsied.

"What happened here?" he asked in a way that wasn't blatantly condescending but still made me bite my lip.

I wanted to say, "I'm graduating in two months and I'm working essentially full-time and I don't like being cold or wet or dirty and I'm so tired, dude; can I please just have a C and be on my way?"

I ended up saying, "Buhhh."

"I'll tell you what," he began, and a choir of angels sang out in jubilation, because no one but a sadist would start a sentence with "I'll tell you what" if he wasn't going to end it with something kind and helpful. "Why don't you toss these and I'll let you start over. Can you redo them tonight?"

"...Eight of them?"

"Yeah."

So I think, "Oh yeah, I have a free eighteen hours tonight. I'll just fit that in between all the work I have to do for the book, and the video I have to upload, and the forms I have to fill out, and the prescription I have to drop off, and the homework I have to do, and the miles I have to run, and the video I have to plan, and the laundry I have to do, and the food I have to eat, and the reading I have to do, and the blog I have to write, and the shower I have to take, and the dying with my face down on the public sidewalk I have to do."

And I say, "Yeah. Sure."

26 comments:

sterff1face said...

It must be due to the people of your pottery talent and confidence that, whenever I see emergency vehicles or smoke anywhere near my campus, my first thought is always 'Ooh, the art department's on fire, someone's exploded the kiln' =P

That's also the reason I never stepped foot anywhere near the place, desperate for credits or not. I don't trust myself with clay or fire ^^

James Shepherd said...

Sounds like my life a bit. Well not the pottery-ing but definately the busy busy busy stuff. Have a million things to do and get told I have to do a quote before, so now I have to push a job back a couple days and the customer won't be happy ggggrrrr.

carolinee said...

Story of my life.

Kara said...

I wish I had some pottery experience so I could share my pro tips, but I have a feeling I wouldn't do much better than you. Instead, I can just offer my really helpful words of encouragement... Hang in there! [pasted on a photo of a cat dangling from a trapeze with one paw]

Emily Flanagan said...

What did you major in when you were in college?
Why are you taking pottery if your genes are so anti-ceramics? Sorry, you probably asked yourself that question as you remade those pots.

Jen said...

Eight bowls? That's ridiculous. It took me like six months of working over ten hours a week to make just one good mug.

Stefan said...

learn to say no! it's a skill they should teach a whole class in. Being assertive should be a major all to its self.

Alloquy said...

I learned about my lack of pottery skills early on in life. Grade seven art class we had to make clay pots and then paint them.

Everyone else's turned out nice and smooth, while mine was a horrible mess. According to my teacher, my hands were/are "too warm" for handling clay. So there you go.

Didn't stop her from failing my pot. Yeah.

You have my deepest sympathies, Hayley.

Eva said...

The only bowl that I ever made was for therapy, and I made it very clear that I didn't like to "clay my feelings away". That woman just let me be and I made the worlds ugliest bowl in an hour. Never again.

Afton said...

Ummm... I'll do your homework if you do mine. I just got assigned a 20 page short story due October 4th. No plot. No characters. No setting. No ideas. Ahhhhhhhh!

Sorry I'm just really glad that I am not the only person in the freakout zone.

Good luck with your pottery class and I really hope that you are feeling less stressed out!

EJ Lee said...

I suggest watching Season 1 Episode 19 of Community entitled, "Beginner Pottery".

DreamerRealist said...

You've got this, Hayley.

Molly said...

Is our problem in the centering, the opening or the pulling up the walls? Or possible all of the above? Get mad at the clay. I promise it helps. Also check out this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9-hAJ8IrmU

I wish you the best of luck. I spent probably 30 hours a week in the ceramics studio last semester and I still have issues.

Sidsel said...

What a fun, well written post.

comelygrace said...

Hope it turned out alright. Also LOVED your writing on this post. <333

kira902k said...

oh my god <3

Bethany said...

I always got my "bowls" stuck in the kiln and the teachers would have to chip them to pieces to get them out. I also hate working with clay cause the clay sucks all the moisture out of my hands making them crack and bleed, while simultaneously my hands somehow suck the moisture out of the clay, making it dry and cracky. It is one of the mysteries of science.

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FastFifa14 said...

I'm graduating in two months and I'm working essentially full-time and I don't like being cold or wet or dirty and I'm so tired, dude; can I please just have a C and be on my way?"


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