This concept truly encompasses how my experience has been since taking art classes at Pikes Peak Artist Collective. It would be quick to assume that the “emptiness” in this quote refers to an empty vase or coffee mug that was just made by an artist. However, in my personal journey, pottery has filled a void within myself that I didn’t know existed until I committed to practicing the art of pottery.
My name is Quest and I have been taking adult clay classes at Pikes Peak Artist Collective for almost a year. I took a pottery class in college, but that was the extent of my experience with clay. I remember going into the studio after my last class of the day, and not leaving until 2 a.m. Now, 6 years later I was looking for the same kind of rush that I felt when I first started pottery in college. I am so grateful that I found Pikes Peak Artist Collective. The art studio was warm and welcoming and right down the street from me. My experience with clay has benefited me in several ways.
One of the first lessons I learned from this experience, is that it is really important to invest in yourself. Although the pottery classes are the most affordable that I have seen, initially I started to talk myself out of it. I started to think, “This would be fun, but I could also use that money to pay extra towards my car loan.” What I realized quickly, is that the benefits that I have gotten from these classes have paid me back in ways that go beyond monetary measures. There are always a thousand reasons not to do something, but sometimes there are a few really good reasons that outweigh everything else.
In my case, one of those reasons was to have an escape from using my analytical brain all day. When I am not in the studio, elbow deep in clay, I work in an office where I look at concrete data all day. Statistics and spreadsheets are an integral part of my day job. Pottery classes have brought color to my black and white day to day. By nature, we all have a creative side to us. However, our auto-pilot brain often takes over– limiting our self-expression. Because I am so used to using this practical side of my brain all day, perfecting the fundamentals of pottery is what held all my focus. “I knew how to do this in college, why can’t I raise these darn walls like I used to?” Rebecca was always there to remind me that sometimes the imperfections make the piece unique. I thought to learn the “how” was the true reward, I finally realized I had the freedom to take my self-expression and form it into a tangible object–that was the real prize.
One thing I realized about myself during this experience, is that I tend to be a perfectionist. Now, this is a bold statement coming from the girl who takes a week to put her laundry away and considers a rain shower a car wash. I discovered that when it came to my self-expression and vision, refined shapes and edges were something I wouldn’t compromise on. Finding this out about myself has translated to other details in my life that I had previously overlooked. I also find myself drawing inspiration from subjects and experiences that I may have not paid attention to before. For example, the simplest details in exposed brick or the formation of tiny speckles on a rock stops me in my tracks, storing the image away in my mental Rolodex of inspiration for patterns and textures to apply to my next piece.
The thing I love most about taking pottery classes is how I feel leaving the studio. I always walk out the door with a sense of energy and motivation. I take classes from 6-8 pm so sometimes that energy even overflows into my 8 hours of sleep. That feeling of energetic creativity is worth the extra minutes it takes me to fall asleep though. By this point in my pottery journey, my dad is used to getting phone calls from me later than usual so I could share my latest progress. The call is always followed up with pictures of my pieces. Sometimes I get texts back from him requesting pictures from different angles so he can give his critiques! It has been really great to share my love and interest in pottery with my friends and family. Not to mention, amazing Christmas gifts are readily available and made from the heart. Below is a platter that I made for my Aunt Julie.
Having a support system and guide like Rebecca pushed me in ways creatively that I would not have gotten if I decided to pursue pottery independently. Taking an actual pottery class helped me understand the technical components of the wheel, hand-building as well as the glazing process. Rebecca goes a step further in encouraging my creativity by sending me articles about ceramics, fueling ideas for my next project. Having someone being invested in my artistic growth has been a game-changer throughout this process and I am excited to continue taking classes at Pikes Peak Artist Collective.
Other than having beautiful art forms in your home, I hope this gave you some insight as to how pottery classes can benefit anyone looking to add some color to their routine. As mentioned before, incorporating art classes into my week has sparked creativity into other areas of my life. I have always been a writer, but overtime began doing less and less of it. Since starting classes at Pikes Peak Artist Collective, that creative energy that I create in the studio has reignited my passion for writing. PPAC was looking to further develop their blog and reach out to the community with thoughtful articles about art and the happenings at PPAC. I eagerly jumped on the opportunity to help!
I look forward to sharing fun, educational, and thought provoking articles with you, the community of PPAC! Feel free to reach out if you ever want to chat or if you have an idea for a post!
Thanks for reading,
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