Many say the rhythm of working the moist clay on a potter’s wheel is one of the most pleasurable aspects of being a ceramist. They find it relaxing as they seem to effortlessly take a hump of raw clay and quickly work it into a functional piece. Others avoid the wheel at all costs often to focus on hand-building because they find it easier, or less messy, or it affords them more variety since everything doesn’t have to start out from a round form.
Early on, before I knew much of anything about making ceramics, I tried my hand at the potter’s wheel. I was elated when I was able to get things to come out reasonably round but, looking back now, they really weren’t very good pieces from a pottery point of view. The bottoms were thick. The sides weren’t even. The glazing was a bit sloppy. All the usual rookie mistakes that you have to learn before you can get better.
But, like I said, that critique is from a potter’s perspective.
We have a feline friend who stops by once or twice a day for a snack and from his perspective those early pieces are ‘purrfect’. The low and uneven sides make it a little easier to get his head into the bowl. The heavy bottoms keep them from moving around as he tries to lick up every last kibble. The sloppy glazing doesn’t matter to him in the least!
Like many things in life, the bowl can be half empty or half full. It really is all just a matter of perspective.