Recently I watched a demonstration of a potter turning clay and I was fascinated as he molded the clay into perfect bowls, vases and plates. With each new blob of clay, this artist took and shaped the clay into amazing works of art. Once the clay was shaped he used tools, color or glazes to add elements of design. The interesting part of this demonstration was when the potter asked people from the audience if they wanted to give it a try. Several sat at the wheel, set their clay down and then worked to mold the clay. It was hilarious to watch as the clay spun off the wheel in all directions, and when the tools were applied they would cut the vase or mug in half or make a bizarre design. It was clearly much more difficult than they had expected.
After allowing a few puzzled participants to fail, the potter taught a very important lesson about turning clay. He said “it doesn’t matter how fast you go, or what tools you use, if the clay is not centered perfectly on the wheel your project will fail.”
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