What do they have in common?  Two of my favorite things …

 

Drying, waiting for their turn in the kiln ...

Drying, waiting for their turn in the kiln …

This past two weeks has been filled with beginners and their pots, so my studio has been filled with raucous laughter, flying clay, the occasional lost pot (had no incidences of splattered slip this week though!) and the enthusiasm that only beginners can bring to this kind of work.  Do you know how many of them told me this week that they had no artistic talent?  I bet it was about half.  That makes me wonder what kind of art teachers they had … (but that’s another story).  You see, the great thing about throwing clay is that it doesn’t matter whether you can draw a straight line (and I don’t know how that became the measuring stick for artistic talent …) because the pots are going round and round!  In fact when we do get around to glazing these puppies these students are going to find that we are pretty slap happy.  We’re going to dip, trail, and spatter on purpose — then they’ll find out how artsy they really are and how much fun it is to do stuff when you don’t know what the outcome is.  It’s so exciting … especially when you have a beginners mind.  Every piece that is done is a new adventure — so much to learn about clay and about yourself.  You sure as heck can tell how much attention is generally paid to where your hards are.  You even develop awareness in your feet!

 

On to Red Rose Tea … my secret weapon in back-to-back classes!  My Grandma Mackie used to keep a pot of red rose tea on the wood stove in what was probably an aluminum pot.  (She lived to about 98 and didn’t appear to have any brain damage from the pot … but I digress.)    When we came in from picking beans or whatever the first thing that would happen is another bag would go into the pot along with some boiling water and we’d sit down for a cuppa with some fresh bread, real fresh butter, and some home made jam.  Every time we sat down another bag would go into the pot with some more water … and back on the stove it would go after we’d taken a cup.  Let me tell you, by the end of the day you were taking that tea half and half with milk and 1/4 cup of suger (slight exaggeration for those of you who don’t know me).  I cannot replicate the flavour of those cups of tea … but they’ve left me with a fondness for Red Rose, and for tea that can hold a spoon up straight.  Whenever I’m starting to get a little weary from bending over the beginners pots I break out the tea. The more expensive high priced teas don’t seem to have the same regenerative powers … pretty boxes with meadows and such don’t impress me … I need a good square red box of about 300 teabags!

 

Hope you’re having a great day.  I’m sitting with a cup of tea …

Susan McD