It was a pleasant surprise to see the kids all eyes and ears on the teacher demonstrating how to mould clay. I found out they were children from an international school out for a morning session to learn the simple art of moulding clay.
That brought me back many years ago to my first attempts. When the childen were young, I sneaked away during afternoons to dabble in clay. I tried the free form of handbuilding . My first clay art was a spirally vase and had it glazed a dark brown. Next, I made a house with a pond and a duck in it.
Time just flew when I was at class especially when I sat at the potter's wheel. I remember patting pliable balls and centering them on the turntable. Then , my raw, untried hands tried so hard to mould the clay. Many unwieldy results, as expected - they sagged and flopped again and again. Back to square one for countless times. I enjoyed the pulling technique to achieve the cylindrical form. The other skill was to acquire an even thickness as the vase was being moulded. I knew the magic could only lay in my hands to coax beauty out of it, shape wise.
Unfortunately, I did not stay long at the art to acquire some basic decent skills. But the wonderful feeling of ' playing' with clay was some reward already. Handling the clay was also a form of therapy - a terrific destresser. As the turntable moved, my thoughts were with the clay. Nothing else seemed to matter. Always the 2 hours or so just flew.
As they kids played with the balls of clay, I could not help but liken them as the clay we adults help shape as they grow. From the bosom of mothers and fathers, so much is in their hands to mould the lives of those who spring from them. That said, teachers too are responsible in the moulding process of inculcating values .
I left the kids with their bubbly enthusiasm and headed towards the artists each housed in their own hut. I popped in to say 'hello' to two of my friends . Work was in progress and I duly left them to some peace and quiet.