Some days are great for libraries, some for hands-on history or science and others for math games at home. But one day each week we head to a nearby university to take advantage of their many public offerings, not the least of which is the use of pottery wheels. We discovered this a couple of years ago, and last year we took up the craft ourselves. We thought about taking one of the basic classes, but our oldest daughter said she'd prefer to just give it a try and learn through osmosis, by trial and error and just plain experience.
Well, that's worked out very well. At this campus, where the motto is "learn by doing," students are not just willing, but seem thrilled, to offer helpful tips. Last week we watched two CLEARLY experienced potters create vase after vase, teapot after teapot with ease. This week, I asked one of them for a little bit of advice. Well, this 20-year-old man who only took up the hobby last fall and also taught himself through experience and observation of others had LOADS of information to share. His tips really helped us out, and we look forward to seeing him again next week.
So what's the point of pottery? Well, it teaches a load of lessons, not the least of which is patience! We learn that having a pot flop isn't a bad thing. You just recreate your center (the beginning mound) and go for it again, no harm, no foul. We take turns doing the parking-meter math to ensure we don't get the Big Ticket. The girls have been listening attentively to neighboring potters who communicate largely in French. (Are they picking anything up? I don't know, but I don't believe I've ever heard them so quiet while awake!) And occasionally we're joined by other friends whose kids are interested in trying out the wheel. All the kids can work together, share supplies, give pointers and enjoy each other's company.
It's been a busy week, however, so tomorrow it's a quiet day at home, playing our way through the game closet, gardening, and, if we have time, doing a science project at home.