Friday, May 22, 2015

Pottery Obsession revisited!!



You wont believe how excited I was to finally figure out how to rekindle my passion for pottery after a sabbatical of two years...
I had learnt pottery for a couple of months while in New York from a fantastic studio (and written about it all here)
but after we came back to India and were posted in the back of beyonds of Rajasthan, I had kind of given up hope of ever getting back to my love of pottery...
After all how in world was I going to manage a wheel and a kiln and the other paraphernalia that goes with doing your own pottery?? and go along with my husband and family on our nomadic travels all over the country every one or two years??
Even though I checked out some Shimpo wheels that were surprisingly available in India but they were all very highly priced!!
ummm... and I didnt want to invest so much money in something that I may or may not be able to carry on further...
So I scoured around for some other alternative... even going so far as to look up DIY wheels at home- but everything seemed too daunting.
And then I stumbled upon a wonderful lady who is a retired Air Force Officer's wife and teaches from her place.
She could't have been more helpful, and with her guidance and suggestions, I procured a Kick-Wheel with some trepidation...
Why trepidation you ask? because I had learnt pottery on an Electric Shimpo Wheel which could be controlled with just a little pressure with your foot...
And here I was buying a wheel that I had absolutely no idea how to work on, but as usual, I took a deep breath and dived in!
Within 10 days the wheel was here and I was soooper pumped up...


But my enthusiasm waned a little when I realised that I just couldn't get it going!!
it was too stiff and ungainly and too slow to actually be able to centre any clay...
After hunting around for a normal potter (kumhaar) who make those terracotta vessels and pots for everyday use, I went to his humble abode and begged him to come back with me.
He too was baffled with this contraption... he had only worked with the traditional spokes-wala wheel and but he tried his level best to get my thingy going but gave up!
Then he finally advised me send it back and get an electric wheel because he had never seen anything like this and he couldn't even teach me the basics with it.
I was despondent... c'mon I had had it sent all the way from Delhi and I couldn't just send it back without giving it my best shot!
So every morning me and my husband's buddies (batman) tried kicking it religiously and vigorously...  oiling and greasing was also on...
Bit by bit it loosened up and became smooth...
and voila...I could finally centre my clay and make some wobbly bowls and cylinders!!
there's a loooong way to go yet and I have still to get my rhythm in sync with the wheel, but my mornings are going well...
the smooth whirr of the wheel and the chirping of the birds and my soft music playing in the background....
Bliss...
and I. am. content.
Mashallah!!




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