Something the seminar instructor told the attendees (only six of us) made a big impact on me at the time and has stayed with me ever since. She said:
"If you want to understand how hard it is for an adult beginning student to learn how to play the piano, take a class in something you've always wanted to do that is completely out of your level of comfort."
Soon after, I accepted that challenge and enrolled in a six-week Adult Continuing Education pottery class offered by the hometown university. I invited Carol, a friend and my only adult beginner piano student, to join me. Carol was a marvelous seamstress; like could make wedding dresses kind of marvelous, and was adept at every craft ever created, but she'd never tried a hand at pottery, which made her an ideal Pottery I class companion.
The cup fared no better. No matter how gently I cradled the clay, or how fast or slow I worked that wheel, one side of the cup would cave in. The instructor's mound of recycled clay grew to Mt. Etna proportions whenever I was in attendance.
With the end of the course looming, I was desperate, and determined, to make something I could be proud enough of to show my family. Resorting to sneaking it into the house in a paper bag in the dark of night was just too embarrassing a prospect. A bowl was the only catastrophic clay creation I hadn't yet attempted. Well-versed in my limitations as a potter, I chose a small amount of clay for a small vessel. This is the result, which I still have.
The instructor, taking pity on me, gave me an unclaimed bowl, the same size as mine, ready for the painting stage. This one I also still have.
What I'm wondering is how she's going to get it off that wheel in one piece.