Pottery classes at college finished this week and in the last 'Beginners Pottery' lesson I went around the class to ask the question 'Name one thing you have learnt this term?' The rule was not to repeat any of the answers. Four people wanted to say they had learnt patience. This is so true in pottery.
Pottery is a wonderful way to learn patience. The correct time/dryness of the clay to attach handles, burnish etc (this stage is called leather hard), the waiting for the clay to completely dry before the first firing, The lengthy wait for the kiln to fire slowly reaching temperature and then the waiting again until it is cool enough to unload and glaze. Then the second firing, which in my mind is always the most frustrating to wait for the end result, to hold back without peeking, which could end in disaster, oh but opening once ready is wonderful, just like Christmas day. Many a time I have crept out to my little studio at some ungodly hour of an early morning the day after glaze firing to see what treasures are waiting for me.