Clay has become the new yoga. It’s not surprising; in fact, it encompasses many Zen aspects. Working with clay requires being in harmony with the laws of nature and the cosmos. It means respecting the clay, handling it properly, and listening to its rhythms. Waiting for it to dry and only proceeding to decorate when the time is right also demands years of experience. A miscalculation in glaze thickness could result in the piece breaking.
Beyond the technical aspects, working with clay involves various subtle layers. For instance, the unique touch of each individual’s hands can influence the clay’s drying process, affecting its thickness and weight. It’s all about finding balance.
Even when seated at the wheel, it’s crucial to maintain a straight, serene, and centered posture, ensuring the clay can be properly centered. Ceramics can serve as a metaphor, much like Kintsugi, but it’s important not to let the metaphor overshadow the material itself.
Clay grounds us, bringing us back to reality and materializing every idea and project. This interaction with objective reality provides invaluable lessons. During wheel throwing lessons, the wheel becomes the teacher, guiding us through the process. It’s essential to understand that each piece will bear the characteristics of its creator, not the instructor’s.
Whether you’re in my class or elsewhere, your creations are your own. Mastering clay requires years of experience, patience, and a willingness to embrace challenges and surprises along the journey.