4 Outfits I Wore to Pottery this Month
A.K.A. 4 Outfits I Totally Ruined This Month
By Veronica Viccora
Every now and then I lead myself to a point of extreme burn out which is immediately followed by a wave of anxiety that I'm not doing enough with my life. And so I sign up for a random class of some kind in effort to cure my existential dread. Though it may be a strange method of gaining new skills, pondering the futility of life has lead me to some interesting places.
Salsa dancing lessons, cooking workshops, Thailand, to name a few.
A few months ago, that inescapable urge to explore something new lead me to a little pottery studio I'd had my eye on for months. And I have to say, building outfits for such an occasion has been nearly as much fun as building my wonky creations.
Okay, I expected this to be hard but I didn't know it would be this hard. I spent longer than I care to admit just figuring out how to get my wheel set up and panicked that I'd made a huge mistake.
(If I was already having this much trouble with the wheel before there was even clay on it... where was this heading?)
We learned to wedge, cone and center the clay and try our hands at building our first basic cylinder. And by we I mostly mean everyone else.
I struggled to get through steps one and two. My clay did not want to adhere to my wheel and kept flying all over the place. Getting it to be centered? Forget it.
Thankfully, I rightfully assumed I'd be a huge mess after day 1, so I wore something I didn't mind potentially ruining. Turns out clay washes out of clothing pretty easily, which meant I could be a little more experimental in the coming weeks. At least I had that going for me.
I'm actually starting to get the hang of things! Perhaps it was the creative power of David Bowie shining down upon me, or maybe it was just muscle memory starting to kick in but I feel brief moments where I'm one with the clay. For one glorious instant, my heap of mud is centered, therefore I am centered and all seems right with the world.
And then I breathe wrong and it all goes wonky again.
Still... I sense I'm on the verge of greatness.
I AM SO FAR FROM GREATNESS.
I had what my teacher calls a "rainbow day" which sounds a lot nicer than it actually is. You see, when your projects go horribly awry, you smash the worked clay into a rainbow shape so it can dry out and be used again later.
All of my pieces turned into rainbows.
I long to center and cone with the smooth effortlessness my teacher seems to have mastered, but right now it feels like wrangling an angry bull. I am panting, exhausted and COVERED in clay and still haven't created anything that doesn't instantly collapse.
Thankfully, being that I've been a beginner many times, I expected this day to come. I've learned that learning is not the linear upward path we tend to think it is. It goes up and down and it's common to have a really frustrating day after just feeling like you were getting the hang of things. So I accepted it and hoped next time would be better.
While I may not have discovered my pottery rhythm just yet, I have discovered my pottery uniform. I thrifted this jumpsuit and the moment I laid eyes on in the men's section of Buffalo Exchange, I knew it would be a perfect outfit for playing with clay. As you can see, I'm not terribly worried about cleaning it. These clay stains are like hard earned battle scars. I'm wearing them with pride.
OUTFIT DETAILS: Jumpsuit - The Times Vintage | Sneakers - Thrifted (Nike's)
I actually made a frikin thing. It's real! IT'S A THING! My piece did not explode in the kiln as I feared it would and instead my heart is exploding with pure pride. I know what you're thinking, why on earth would she wear her white vintage 80s jumpsuit to a pottery class?! Well, let me tell you that I'm SUCH a good potter now, I have no reason to fear getting messy anymore.
Actually, a bottle of ketchup exploded all over this when I went to dress my fries the other day and while it's hard to see from the pictures, this jumpsuit is now covered in tiny red splotches. I figured it might be time to relegate this baby to a piece that's made to get messy because I'm not sure if I'm ever getting those out.
(I still wore an apron over this during class though... just in case there's hope).
You know for all the trouble it caused... I actually grew to love the clay. In fact, I can't think of a world without it anymore. It's like the grown up version of making mud pies and I'm loving every second of it. So, rather than being a stick in it, I'm going to continue playing with mud.
Even so... I have to admit, I still find building outfits way easier than building mugs. Just saying.