This past January I decided to return to a clay studio after a long time away. I signed up for a class and excitedly walked in the first day with pretty clear ideas of what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I knew the questions I had and wasn't really open to answers I wasn't looking for.
I had a great couple months making and playing and experimenting with what I wanted to, but I realized I missed out on some things too. If there was a demo on something I believed wasn't in alignment with what I thought I wanted to do, I just wouldn't watch it. Or... Sometimes if intrigued enough, I would watch it, but wouldn't try it.
This week was the first week of the new session of class. I went in with a clear idea of what I wanted to work on once again. After introductions and discussion among the class of their hopes and aspirations for the months ahead I got to work. I wedged my clay and weighed it out for making some more cups. I sat at the wheel and began to throw the forms.
The instructor, who I am lucky enough to have a second time, started a demo on hand building square bowls and it clicked. I can do what I already know how to do on my own time. I'm here as a student, I should get up and learn whatever is being offered.
I got up and watched the demo and then returned to my work thinking, "well that's interesting but not really something I'm interested in doing" so I didn't.
A few minutes later he started demonstrating how to throw pots on the wheel for a few new students. I decided to tune in and apply what he was saying and I learned a lot. Towards the end of the demo he started making some tiny pots. I started to fall in to the "well that's interesting but not really something I'm interested in doing" rut. Fortunately I remembered, I was there as a student. It was my role to listen, learn and apply. Try what is offered.
So I did.
I took a small pinch of clay and I made a tiny pot and then another and another and another. I loved it!
Why am I rambling about this? Because sometimes we forget we don't need to know everything. Sometimes we forget that there is no way we possibly could. The beautiful thing is, as a student, it is our job not to.
Whenever possible(and it's always possible) be the student. Learn from the teachers that surround you. Try what is presented even if you don't think it is something you're interested in. Take what is offered. You just might end up loving it...