I wrote here about how much I love pottery. And last night I got the chance to try making some.
I started an Introduction to Pottery course at the local high school and - despite feeling a slight panic as the tutor handed out instructions for our first project - relished every minute.
It was really good to be in an environment devoted to creativity. The school was rebuilt a few years ago and the art studios are beyond impressive: well-equipped, airy and with huge windows looking out across the fields to Lancashire (hooray!).
I enjoy working to some kind of brief. Although we were encouraged to interpret it however we liked, sometimes there's nothing that paralyses you more than a blank piece of paper. So we discussed William Morris, looked at his work and made clay tiles using the designs as inspiration.
It was intricate, challenging and completely absorbing. Next week we get to paint and fire the tiles.
Our next project is coiled pots and the designs have to tell a story - we've been encouraged to look at Grayson Perry's work to get the right idea.
This week I'll be making sketches and thinking about what I'd like to make. It's exciting. I think I may end up doing another course after this one. And despite wishing I'd taken a more creative route at sixteen, and envying those students their fantastic school (knitting clubs at lunch time!) I realised that learning is fun if you're studying something that is 'you'.
PS The images are of little ceramic decorations my mum bought me last time we went to Krakow. They're not my own work... but I promise to share when I have something to show you.