The space between

The perfect cylinder escaped his hands, then tumbled around until he slowed the potter’s wheel. It happens sometimes, when trimming the bottom of a pot; the slightest misstep with a tool can result in what seems like utter disaster. The clay had challenged the artisan and threw his expectations off the wheel. He assessed the damage and thought the pot was ruined.

“Ah, a thrown and altered form,’ I offered. Upon closer inspection, we observed how the edge of the wheel had created seemingly random spirals around the form, and there were some additional circular indentations (created by the wheel-head pins). The cylindrical form was still basically intact and the tumble had added this unique surface treatment. I suggested he clean up the ragged lip of the form and keep the pot. He seemed unsure that this pot was worthy of a future firing-glazing-firing, but went along.

Wheel throwing is chock full of little life lessons. The space between ‘what I want’ and ‘what I get’ gives us the chance to embrace all of our stuff.


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