This week I got back some pottery I had recently glazed, although the pieces were thrown on the wheel last spring. I learned how to throw and glaze pots a few years back from Joe Vitek at the Cheseapeake Arts Center. Joe, who has become a good friend, is a master potter and marvelous teacher. The pieces were fired in his gas kiln. Joe puts them in the kiln himself, since the air must flow evenly around all the pieces to fire correctly at extremely high temperatures over several days. Firing takes skill, a bit of luck and alchemy. The glazes don’t look like the colors they will become through fire and chemical reactions so the colors seem magical when they are finally taken out of the kiln.
I love trying new things and a knitting and crochet store just opened in my neighborhood. [www.thatsthepointneeedlecrafts.com]The yarn is seductive. It’s achingly soft, with marvelous colors, from muted, natural colors to bold, primary colors, which are actually used sari fibers spun together.
The store offered a free lesson; I couldn’t wait. I had learned some knitting when I was very young, but had long since forgotten it. I recalled swirling in the navy blue ice skating skirt my mother knit for me. Lace doilies lay across tables in my grandmother’s house, crocheted by my great-aunts. The white doilies were as delicate as snowflakes.
Recently, I saw sculptures made from crocheted yarn in the Visionary Arts Museum. [www.avam.org] A mathematician friend explained that crochet actually makes hyperbolic arches. [http://crochetcoralreef.org/crochet-coral-reef-book.php] After knitting a bit, I realized the art is mathematical, and not just because of the shapes, but because I needed to count stitches so as not to lose any. Also, my knitting wound itself into a shape somewhat like a DNA molecule, which I was assured, was normal.
As I sat practicing my knitting, women stopped by to shop and chat. One of the pleasures of knitting or crocheting is that it can be done while engaging in conversation. The women were around my age, middle aged or somewhat older. They fondled the yarn, discussed patterns, techniques, and the perfect needle.They were professional women from a large variety of fields, from computers to teaching to non-profit management. They also had a wide range of interests. I even met one woman who also did aikido!
I went home satisfied and excited. This week I plan to learn crocheting.