Tonight I sit at the wheel and try new clay: porcelain. White and supple and so soft beneath my fingers, like milk. It takes so little effort to center, to pull up cylinder after cylinder, bowl after bowl. I make eleven pieces. More than Iâ€™ve ever made in a night. Four soup bowls, four tall mugs, two plates, and a vase. I can hardly stop myself. The clay slips with little effort in a circling center between my fingers, and the studio is full of banter. Marven Gaye is on for a while, then Beck. Conversations rises and falls like a flock of pigeons alighting for bread, then lifting off into the sky to settle on the ridgeline of a roof somewhere.
I love throwing pots in the studio while my guy loafs around, glazing pots in the opposite corner, making people laugh. My mind stays close to its center, at the wheel. I donâ€™t veer into worry, or anxiety or tiredness; like gardening, the simple act of using my hands in a directed purposeful way fills my soul with a sense of even-keeled grace I easily loose track of as the day whips by me, all talk and clatter and eager kids.
I come home empty, in a grateful, open way. Ink and gesso on the pages of an old book; clay on my jeans; a bottle of massage oil on the bedside table. The day is done.