You might recall from my welding experience that I’ve never been good at working with my hands. So when my friend kept mentioning pottery–I kept putting it off. I was nervous that I’d get to class and be unable to “mold” my clay into much more than something that looked like an extremely flattened gumby. But alas, on Thursday night I headed over to my friend Lisa’s pottery shop called Mud, Sweat & Tears to give it a try.
As Sybil Bruncheon–our host–who kept it light and funny–explained all the different types of projects we could make, I stared in awe. I watched as she pulled out a pot–a candy dish–and a mug. The right side of my brain started churning. ‘Well I could always use another coffee mug…but that doesn’t seem very unique,’ I thought to myself.
Then I thought, ‘Well maybe I could make the coffee mug and then write The Hobby Hoarder on it…”
‘Boring.’ And then it hit me. ‘Scrabble pieces.’
Having last played scrabble back in August, I was having trouble imagining the best way to do it. I started rolling out a Gumby, until Sybil stopped me to ask me what i had in mind. When I explained it to her, she immediately began to help me start moving in the right direction–and in less than an hour, I was pasting the last R onto the back of the scrabble tray. My hands, full of clay, swung up into the air with joy. “This was awesome,” I exclaimed as I shot multiple photos of my project–for my made-up version of show and tell at work the next day.
As I arrived at work the following morning, I immediately began to show off my project:
“I love the scrabble pieces I made last night! Did you see the photo I put on Facebook?” I say to my friend Pete, as I show whip out my iPhone to share my “pottery” art.
He looks at the photo and says, “That’s awesome!”
”But I can’t wait until it’s fired and glazed–even though I won’t get to pick it up when it’s done, with the trip and everything.”
“I like it better like this,” he responds. “Think abut the metaphor you can use for it–when it’s in this molding stage. Look at how you’ve been molded through the hobby year.”
“GENIUS!,” I exclaim.
I wish I had come up with the “molding” metaphor myself.
I look at the photo of the clay scrabble pieces again.
I see the bent “O” in hobby and the scrunched up “D” in hoarder–and I laugh to myself. “It’s not perfect. Parts of it are a little awkward–there are some small flaws–small mistakes–moments where I probably could have scored a little more–or sludged on a little more water–But that’s okay. I’m pretty thrilled with the outcome. It’s novel and unique. It stands out–and I am proud of it.” Hmm. Sounds a lot like this year:
You see like working with clay–this hobby year has taken it’s metaphorical hands and rolled and molded me-however instead of using water/chalk– it’s pushed and kneaded me with happiness, passion and pride. It’s built me into a strong young woman with confidence–and a lack of fear. And it’s glazed me with a brightness that even my yellow sunglasses have trouble blocking out. The truth is that if someone put the hobby hoarder year into a kiln–and it for some reason exploded–it would only explode into a celebration of confetti–rather than a devastating disaster. And that’s pretty fantastic.
Like what I made? Looking to get crafty? Head over to Mud, Sweat & Tears Pottery on the northeast corner of 46th street and 10th Avenue for a good time. Thursday nights are with Sybil Bruncheon–(who is absolutely hilarious) and Friday nights are with my good friend Lisa–Check – It – Out: