Sunday, August 24, 2008

A restful break

Hello, dear friends. I hope everyone had/are having the most wonderfully refreshing weekend break. We are now back from ours, slowly stepping into the cycle of work after a blissfully restful Shabbat.

After all the activity that naturally accompanies moving and settling into a new house, with a good amount of work done, by Friday we were exhausted. We were invited to spend Shabbat with relatives from my husband's side of the family, which we gratefully accepted, especially since we didn't have the time to prepare everything necessary for a comfortable Shabbat at home.

While enjoying good company, pleasant conversation and excellent food, we made a delightful discovery: it turned out our hostess does the most beautiful pottery work I've ever seen. Oh, you can't imagine just how sorry I felt for not taking my camera along, to take some pictures of those wonderful works of art.

Needless to say, their home was one of the most creatively decorated I've ever seen - not only by pottery, but also by different types of art, such as oil paintings and hand-crocheted covers. On the other hand, it didn't look remotely like a gallery - despite the abundance of ceramic vases, jugs, animals, candle holders and other pottery works - but simply like a very cosy home. Many of the plates and bowls used for setting the table were also made right there in the basement, the secret lab of pottery art. :-) If only I could share with you some of the beauties we saw!

On the bright side, when Shabbat ended my husband and I received an improvised pottery session, with an invitation to come again for a more extended one when we can. We were like two delighted children, taking turns at the potter's wheel and seeing how clay changes shape at the slightest touch.

We do hope for a chance to practice pottery again, as time allows. What can be more satisfying, creative and relaxing than working with your own hands?

Illustration photo: potter's wheel


Milena said...

How lovely. I always found it rewarding to work with clay - though I haven't tried it since high school! I should look into classes or demonstrations in my area. Thanks for the inspiration!

Michelle Potter said...

Sounds lovely, especially in comparison to all the work I've been doing this weekend!

Thursday's Child said...

If I'd been there, I'd be begging DH to take me to buy a potter's wheel. LOL

Andrea said...

Isn't pottery something special? I've never really seriously worked with clay, just made a small ornament or two, but a friend of mine has a standing appointment at a local pottery studio and she loves going there. She makes little tea sets and beakers and things, and she's really very good at it. I love how each item she makes is slightly different from its fellows. She also wrote a prose piece on what it feels like to work with clay, and the way she combined very factual information with her own passion for her work made the whole process come right to life for me.

Honestly, any time I work with my hands is when my brain shuts off completely, lol! So I don't know if I feel very creative when I do it, although I certainly feel relaxed and satisfied when I am done. Actually, maybe the lack of thought is what I find so relaxing about it; knitting, washing dishes, even sewing-- all of that makes me zone right out and wander off somewhere inside my head, only to re-emerge when it's over, lol! It's like my fingers know what they are doing better than my mind does, and my mind knows better than to interfere.

Now, if you would also include writing as being working with one's hands then I would say I feel the same way; that's something I find is satisfying, creative and relaxing, as well as absolutely exhilerating; I feel the same way about researching, as well, but that is really not working with my hands! I would guess that my sister feels much the way you describe when she plays the piano, although now I think I will have to ask her if she feels that way when she draws, too.

I am so happy you and Mr T had such a fun and restful Shabbat :)

USAincognito said...

When I was a child, I was involved in a pottery club. Loved pottery!! I do miss that hobby but have not found a place around where I live now that allows normal people to come together and make pottery.

Jimena said...

We live in a potter's village. On the weekend you can find many potters outside on the street showing children how to work the clay and make all kinds of different pots and vases and jars... It's wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Anna, it just occurs to me to ask--are observant Jews allowed to use cameras on shabbat?

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anon: no, of course we wouldn't use a camera on Shabbat! But, if I had a camera with me, I could take some pictures *after* Shabbat ended and before we went home.