I attended my first pottery class on Monday. In general, I’m a reticent student, preferring to sit in the corner of the class, taking it all in. Of course, as it figures, I didn’t have that option. When I turned on my potter’s wheel, it hit the unattached drip pan, which flung across the room with a huge crash, knocking my bucket of water all over the floor and flinging various tools wide and far (unbeknownst to me, the previous student had left the pedal down). It was like I farted in front of the entire class, with the pottery “grad” students shaking their heads and looking in horror at the neophyte. Of course, I had to get on the floor and clean up the mess while the ladies clucked behind their flower pots and tea cups.
Perhaps it’s just me (and it has been a while), but working the clay on the potter’s wheel is quite erotic. One of the first things I’m instructed to do is take my dripping wet hands and wrap them around my clay, working it up and down, never loosening my grasp, until it resembles something quite phallic. I’m glancing around the room at the old ladies with 14 cats and suburban soccer moms wondering if anyone else sees (feels?) the resemblance. Not a smirk among them.
Then, I’m asked to take the side of my palm, and press slowly down on the tip, all the while adding lubrication (water) in the process. At one point that night, I’m straddling the wheel (I have to do that to ensure my arms are tucked into my hipbones) and my teacher, Mr. Ware, is straddling the other side, our knees almost touching, and I’m giving the clay a hand job while he watches and instructs me on the finer points (not to mention that clay “juice” is splattering all over my jeans and flip-flops). It’s enough to make a girl blush.