Today I sat down at a Potter’s wheel and threw my first pot. I’d like to say I was a natural. I wasn’t. It took me 6 attempts, but I’d made it with my own hands and that felt good.
I have often found it difficult to follow paths. Distracted, I find there is too much temptation to find shortcuts, I cut corners and try to find the path of least resistance. Perhaps I am just eager to carve my own way, preferring the path less travelled by.
When talking about nature there is a term for these shortcuts - they are called ‘desire-paths’: tracks marked by people or animals, these paths usually represent the shortest or most easily navigated route between an origin and destination.
Recently I have leant to slow down. I have come to realise that in my haste to reach the destination I was missing the journey. I was undervaluing it's worth.
The act of making or perhaps the process of learning how to make again has given me an opportunity to slow down, to find a way to use my hands again.
Of course my ability and skill level do not always match the ideas I have - I am learning and I am learning not to be frustrated by this part of the process, something I have found very difficult in the past.
Encouraged by a conversation with a friend I have come to realise that in my haste to reach where I wanted to be I was undervaluing the importance of these early stages
While I will not profess to always know the destination, I can perhaps begin to enjoy the journey of becoming a potter.
You can follow my progress as a maker on my Instagram feed.