Yesterday morning, the pottery studio was dark when I arrived at around 8:30. Fortunately, the door was unlocked and the light switches were relatively easy to locate. The place had never before been dark and empty when I arrived, but then I had never arrived on a Friday morning, a day on which neither pottery nor sculpture classes are scheduled.
On Fridays, the studio is open only so students can work on projects on their own time. The kilns and drying racks, though, are locked behind fences and doors for which only the instructor and a very few of her long-time and highly trusted students have keys. The necessity for the limitation on access to the keys was emphasized a few weeks ago, when tools and equipment were stolen from the supply room; that unfortunate event led to a tightening of security.
As a first-year student, I don’t yet know how to operate most of the equipment, anyway, so I needed access only to a work table, the locker with my tools and materials, and a slab roller (my reason for going in was to make a slab vase, for which the slab roller would be required).
Though I have greatly appreciated the willingness of the advanced students to offer advice and tips, and I am learning quite a lot from the instructor, I welcomed the opportunity to be alone…to work on my project with no one there to see what I was doing wrong and to gently offer corrective comments. I wanted to try, on my own, to make mistakes and learn how to fix them as I made them.
If I’d been able to stay all day, I would have. Though I was not alone all morning (two other students, both more advanced than I, came in to work on their projects and another came in to check on whether a firing had been done in one of the kilns), it was one of the more productive mornings I’ve had in the studio since the class started.
When I return to the studio next Wednesday, I’ll see whether the mud I slung against the seam of the circular vase kept the thing together. And I may see more of my finished products.