Courageous Creativity

There are some of us who are creative and some of us who, frankly, should steer well clear of a paintbrush.

But if you’re someone who appreciates and enjoys creativity and is looking for a new hobby that will keep you in a lifetime of Christmas gifts, not to mention items for your own home, then you could consider taking up pottery.

This incredibly skillful endeavor is enjoying something of a revival as people seek to ditch disposal, cheap alternatives and buy things that last and more important things that look great.

We no longer want disposal plastic gracing our shelves but are fast becoming connoisseurs of beautifully crafted pottery and artisanal offerings.

This doesn’t just have to be the remit of specialist shops such as the tableware sets from Deneen Pottery, but can now be yours to create with just a little guidance.

It’s unlikely that you’ll have access to much of the equipment you’ll need to get started but if you’re a creative type then you’re bound to have aprons and possibly some old rags lying around; perfect for cleaning hands and wiping down thrown clay when needed. You might even have some tools that will help you create the patterns and themes that you’re after.

With a little outlay, you can buy cutting wire, fettling knives and some ribbon tools to get you started but if you just want to try it out, pop along to your nearest studio or art school, which is bound to hold evening classes.

You’ll be surprised how quickly you pick up the art of molding the thrown clay on to a potter’s wheel and molding it into a passable cup or bowl. Before you know it, you’ll be producing entire dinner sets and tableware to rival the big names. Think how easy Christmas and birthday presents are going to become!

Learning a new skill, particularly a practical one, can be a nerve-wracking experience and, as with everything, having to start from the beginning you worry that you won’t pick it up and feel foolish. But everyone from craft bloggers to psychologists will tell you that starting a brand new challenge, especially one that challenges you physically as well as mentally has huge benefits for all of us, particularly as we grow older.

Keeping our dexterity focused and our minds sharp are two distinct outcomes from taking up something like pottery, but anything new and creative can produce similar results.

If you don’t want to or can’t access an outside workshop then why not turn your attention to sketching or dust off those old oil pastels and start sharpening up your skills again. With so many online resources, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to tutorials and these instructional videos are available at all levels and for whatever style you find yourself drawn to.

Be brave and take a step towards the unknown today. Pottery is a fabulous and unusual hobby and once you’re bitten with the bug, you’ll be throwing clay and letting your creative side free into a whole new pastime.

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