Becoming a Potter

Now those of you who know me, might think this title refers to Harry Potter and my affinity for magical realms. After all, I do have a bumper sticker that reads. “Blending in with You Muggles,” and I do so adore watching grown ups read the sticker in wonder. Sometimes I explain it,  other times, I don’t.

But no, I’m talking about the potter’s wheel.  I recently enrolled in my first wheel throwing class. I’ve thrown pots before with my friend Robynn. Last time  she made us homemade margaritas then we threw down some clay and played, which can be helpful, because tipsy, you don’t give a rat’s ass how it looks or if it falls. And in this relaxed state, things come out okay. That, and in the beginning I stopped as soon as I could recognize a shape. “OH, it’s a bowl!” Yeah, something I’d put down for the cat to eat out from, nothing I’d use to serve you food, unless it came with a side dish, of “that’s one of my firsts ever bowls I made.”

I loved my first class. Oh, I got so dirty. It was great. I hated my second class. I forgot everything and the teacher was always busy. I actually cried in frustration. But I came back, because I loved getting my hands in the clay – making something at once beautiful, practical and unique. I’m lost when the wheel spins and I’m leaning over a bowl or a vase to be. The music is going. People buzz around. This could be their first time or 10 years with this teacher, now selling their wares at local fairs. They chat a lot. Mostly I keep to myself,  just blending in, with my ball of clay.

Then last class, the teacher asks about my pendant. It’s Sheila-na-gig. He looks curious. Um, well, she’s an ancient Celtic Goddess who gives birth to the world through her Yoni. Yes, I said that out loud.  Beautiful, says he. And a few women within earshot nod. A Gypsy’s love affair with the profane and divine is appreciated in Irvine? What? Thusfar, Irvine represents the epitome of all I feel is repressive about the OC. I’m blown away.

You could make an imprint of her.

So, I press Sheila-na-gig into the bottom of bowl. Now there’s a bowl to serve soup to my favorite guest!

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