Saturday, 10 December 2011

A New Career?

There is so much to tell about our week in The Netherlands I don’t know where to begin, so I will stick to the highlights. We stayed with Cees’ daughter on her ship in one of the old harbours in Den Bosch, we saw friends and family and we finally visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam, something I have been meaning to do for years but never got around to and I must say it was well worth the visit; we did shopping to stock up on essential items impossible to find round here (chillies, sambal, brown beans) and we ate foods we crave when in France (kroketten, Surinaamse broodjes just to name two things); we tried to visit the Nativity Scene in the Saint Jan Church and failed but the highlight, the absolute highlight was something we had not planned at all.

Back in the summer Cluny had an exhibition of pottery in honour of Frère Daniel of Taizé who is 90 this year and those who read my blog will remember the afternoon we made a bowl. Well Cees’ daughter read the blog and she, being a very accomplished, amateur potter herself, decided that we should be shown how to really make a bowl. Saturday morning we were bundled into her car complete with overalls and a huge box of amazing looking tools and off we went through the rain to the pottery studio she goes to, where she had managed to convince them that we should be allowed to use their equipment, even though we were a pair of clay nincompoops.

First of all squeeze all the air out of your lump of clay, ummmm, not so easy as you would think and we haven’t got anywhere near the wheel yet.. I kept kneading it a bit like bread which seemed to be pumping more air in than out. Cees managed quite well but I was a lost cause, so Cees’ daughter did it for me, after all if she had had to wait for me, we would still be there.

Then on to the wheel. Throw your lovely ball of clay into the centre, splat! Wow, mine hit the centre, which anyone who has ever seen me try to throw anything will be amazed at. Then switch the thing on, fortunately it was an electric wheel so no confusion with the feet as well. Try and poke your thumb in the middle, NO, NOT THE SIDE - THE MIDDLE. OK I’ m doing my best, but it keeps wobbling all over the place, it's like trying to get a wiggling cat to swallow a tablet, it kept moving at random and it spat bits out of the side.

Finally I got the hang of it and I must say I am rather proud of my effort (pictured left). Not everyone’s creation was as successful though (someone else's attempt pictured right). I don’t think we will be trying to do this for a living so the local potters can rest easy, but we both had a great time, I can really recommend having a go.

Thanks Ljalja!

La Tuilerie Website

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