Pottery Is Way Harder Than It Looks

by Steve
(Idaho Falls, Idaho)

The Frustration Will Pass :)

The Frustration Will Pass :)

My first impression of pottery making was that it was going to be this free-flowing, easy, creative process.

Then I tried to make a pot and my impression immediately changed for the worse.

My 9th grade art teacher at the time didn't know how to do pottery, so she just gave me some clay and set me loose on the wheel that had been collecting dust at the back of the classroom.

I put the water on there and pushed on the clay. I pushed, and I pushed, and I squeezed. The mud started to get thick and gloppy. It started flying off the wheel. The clay wouldn't stay stuck to the wheel. It started flying off too.

Did I give up? No. I tried every day for a week. I went through a bag of clay, made huge messes, and wore myself out, but I never even centered a ball of clay.

Did I give up then? Well, YES! I didn't know what the hell I was doing.

I didn't even think about pottery until my first year of college as a painting major. I wasn't really enjoying painting at the time because I didn't feel physically involved in what I was doing.

I wanted to throw, push, and pour paint. I wanted to do something more like building or sculpture, but my teacher didn't really like that.

So, I took a pottery class instead. This time I had a good teacher. Was it still hard? YES, but she helped me work through the difficulties and that made me want to keep trying.

Was I the best in my class? No, but I learned a lot. Once I could do the simple tasks of centering and pulling up walls, I could expand those skills into all sorts of different fun, cool techniques.

The moral of the story? I was really frustrated with pottery for a long time before I found the help I needed to get me over the hump. Luckily, I did get over that hump because otherwise I wouldn't be building this website right now to help other people do the same.

In short, if you're frustrated, keep going. Find another video, teacher, book, friend. Try it in different way. If I had given up, I would have missed out on my greatest passion, TEACHING POTTERY. As it is, I'm living my dream, AND I get to share it with others.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Potting.

PS please share YOUR frustrations AND success stories here to help others on their journey!!!

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Feeling Frustrated?

My bestselling Kindle e-book The Despicable Five solves the 5 most infuriating problems every beginning potter faces.