Yesterday Portland Pottery hosted Martha Grover, Maine's returning prodigal potter. (We didn't kill any fatted calves - I'm still using mine - but there were some excellent sandwiches on offer in the cafe.)
If you get a chance to see Martha in action, go. She is informative and engaging, generous with her techniques and recipes, and utterly inspiring. She throws porcelain, then stretches and cuts and alters but somehow preserves the very soft, almost skin-like freshness of the material. She works much stiffer than I am used to, and gently persuades the forms into rolling curves. I came away with that feeling - you know that feeling? The almost achy need to go home and start making stuff coupled with a faint wash of despair: "I will never make anything that amazing ever in my life."
Or maybe that's just me.
Anyway, we had a ton of fun. It was an interactive workshop, so participants had a chance to try some techniques on the spot. I wasn't delighted with my efforts, but of course I wouldn't expect to be; the workshop is more about learning than producing anything great. I tried to get the hang of the double-ended handle...mixed results, but I plan to keep trying.