I feel like I have a wee confession to make. I really, very much enjoy throwing pottery on the wheel (obviously) but all of the other stuff (trimming, attaching handles and spouts, decorating, glazing) is not nearly as enjoyable for me as the actual throwing part. If throwing is a 10, then the rest hovers around a five or a six.
I’ve been in the midst of making teapots lately, trying new shapes and practicing making larger pots. Teapots are the most complicated pieces I make because they have so many parts. For every teapot I:
1) Throw the pot form, at least two potential lids (sometimes four) and two potential spouts.
2) When the pot and all the pieces are dry enough, I trim the pot and figure out which lid and spout fits and looks the best. Then I trim the lid and add a knob.
3) Then it’s time to assemble all the pieces together. I trim and finesse the spout, then attach it.
4) The handle needs to be pulled and attached.
5) Finally, I clean up all my fingerprints and wipe everything smooth with a damp sponge.
Then it’s done (well except for the firing and glazing steps).
It’s all a bit time consuming when I think about how long it takes for me to make a simple bowl (throw it, trim it, done). So the other day I was assembling my fourth teapot, my lower back was starting to get achey from standing for so long. I was getting a bit cranky and impatient with the whole thing. As I finished off the handle and began to wipe everything smooth, I thought to myself, “Why the heck do I even make so many teapots when I have to spend so much freakin’ time away from the wheel just to make them?”
Then I looked at the beautiful, well proportioned, larger-than-all-the-rest teapot in my hands and realized that it was one of the best teapots I had ever made and I welled up with pride. I said aloud to Molly and Lexy “This is why I make teapots,” they awoke from their naps and thought it was time to go for a walk, so the moment was lost on them, but it wasn’t lost on me. Now, I can’t stop gazing at my new teapots, and I’m so looking forward to throwing more.