For the longest time, I’ve wanted to enroll in a pottery class, and noooooo, it wasn’t because of that movie Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. While I am a fan of romantic films, I’ve never watched that one. And, at this point in my life, I doubt I ever will.
I’m not really sure what piqued my interest in pottery in the first place, actually. Learning more about it has just been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Which is a little weird considering I’m definitely not the most artsy person to walk this earth.
Drawing? Forget it. Everything turns out flat and deformed. Painting? Even an abstract artist couldn’t draw meaning from those canvases. Photography? Only if you like finger photo bombs. Basket weaving? I’ll leave that to my grandma.
The only things I’m semi-close to being good at when it comes to art is drawing stick figures and coloring pictures. Did I mention I even won a coloring contest one time?
Granted, it happened when I was younger, but still! Every year around Halloween, the local newspaper would include a cute cut-out that little kids could color in, fill out the info section and mail in for the chance to win a savings bond, and by George, I won!
Yeah… I’m not quite sure what that says about me… the fact I still brag about it I mean…
Ok, I take that back. I know exactly what it means. It’s a huge red flag that I stink at art. Which is okay. Really. I’ve come to terms with that fact. Honestly. I’m good!
Psht! So what if I’m not the next Picasso? I know who I am! I’m Chelsey Rene… the girl who won a coloring contest once – when she was a kid.
And now… the girl who is learning a new hobby, trying her hand for the first time at shaping clay…despite being the furthest from artistic that a person could possibly get!
There just seems to be something so fun, so appealing, about getting your hands dirty and using your whole body to build a practical, not to mention cute when executed properly, object.
Which is exactly why I signed up for a 6-week pottery session, for wheel throwing and hand building, at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach!
When I first heard about their sessions, I was floored! Before this, I could never find a place that offered wheel throwing or hand building classes. Or, if I did, the classes were smack dab in the middle of the day! Not exactly ideal for someone who was working during that time.
However, the museum offers a variety of classes during the week, with some in the day, some in the evening and some on the weekend. You can also choose between a 3-week session, which meets twice a week, or 6-week session, which meets once. If you’re interested, they do still have spaces available! I would highly recommend joining!
Because my first class was this past Wednesday, and it. was. awesome!
I rolled up to the museum and walked into the new Lineta Pritchard Pottery Studio that had just opened up last year on the bottom. The room includes six pottery wheels, an area for hand building, stations for glazing, stations for cleaning, all the utensils and tools that go with each phase in the process and so much more. The room was quaint and cozy with a few other people milling about getting ready for the evening ahead.
In total, there were 6 of us, and that’s including the instructor – John! The class size was absolutely perfect for cultivating a safe and open learning space. One perfect for my never ending questions, and trust me, there were a plethora.
It also allowed all of us to really get to know one another. Let’s face it, making friends as an adult is hard! Yet, after one class, I really feel like I connected with everyone there. And whenever John was busy guiding another student, the wonderful group of ladies, many of whom have already taken the courses, didn’t hesitate to pitch in and help.
Additionally, and I might come across as nerdy when I say this, but I absolutely loved just learning about something new. I honestly can’t even remember the last time I picked up a new hobby, especially one that requires your whole body to be involved!
After just a couple of minutes, my arms and upper body were a little sore, just from working with the clay! It was refreshing, relaxing, and therapeutic though. My hands were occupied, as was my mind. For the first time in awhile, I wasn’t thinking about work. About my to-do list. About what I was going to fix for dinner. I was simply focused on my feet controlling the speed of the wheel, my hands pushing and pressing the clay and what I needed to do next.
As for the pottery itself, well, like I’ve hinted at this whole time – I’m no artist. However, John really knew what he was talking about and provided a lot of guidance and tips!
I gained so much knowledge, and I even created a couple of mugs… or vases? … okay, maybe they’re more like salsa bowls? Whatever. I’ll let my coworkers figure it out when they open their Christmas gifts!