Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Clay Comforts

In one of my beginning Gerontology classes I met another student "Annette".

She has degrees upon degrees and she quickly became a favorite. I would find myself always gravitating to wherever she was sitting. One evening she told the class that she was looking into teaching clay classes to seniors over 55. I didn't quite "qualify" then but I asked her to let me know when she was set up to offer the class.

She emailed to let me know the class was a go at The Multnomah Arts Center. I immediately signed up. I was a bit apprehensive since I have never worked with clay before, not even an ashtray in grade school. But it was something new to learn and...I would get to see Annette!

First day of class, walking into the unknown I see another familiar face from the Gerontology Program. Paul!

I am immediately feeling a lot better about this class - he has put me into a comfort zone. I am ready to build!

Five weeks of learning and building, and meeting new handbuilding clay artists. Most have worked with clay before and have lots to offer. One lady in particular was an extremely gifted lady named Gabriella who was quite proud to tell her age of 86.

She is from Switzerland who moved here when she was 24. She is quick and her clay creations are wonderful. Each class she would remind me "not to think-just do" in her heavy accent voice. I loved listening to her stories as did the other students. She is an inspiration of someone I would want to be like at that age (heck, at this age!), embracing each day and person she comes in contact with.

My creations are done. A Pinch Pot, a Coil Bowl and a Slab Box. Annette let me have her PEACE box and Linda (the lady I sat next to) let me have one of her creations.

After taking the class I received an email from Annette telling me that she was more at ease about teaching the class when she found out that I had signed up to take it. I was her comfort? Just like seeing Paul was mine. And it reminded me how important it is to let your comfort people know. So thank you Paul for being there and for making the class not too intimidating for me - you were a great comfort!

And....I've signed up for her next class. I'm still after that elusive ashtray!!


  1. The clay class looks like it was a hoot! And I love the Multnomah Arts Center (it's where the Portland Art Collective meets every month). Clay? Glass? Collage? Painting? You are very talented, you know that, don't you??

  2. I agree you are talented!!
    You are gifted and blessed in so many ways.
    You make friends every where you go...remember
    "CLEAR THE PATH"! xoxo Yina