Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Shellac It Like That

You may remember that last week our maiden date night was a little too high-impact for our strict enjoyment (we found it tough to be romantic while sweating like racehorses). This week I had 2 main criteria for planning our date: 1. rest our tired tuckuses; 2. keep my panties to myself.

I thought pottery would be the perfect solution. I mean, picture for a moment the delectable Demi Moore, sexy in her overalls, intimate with her pottery wheel, the sensuous squishiness of clay slipping between her fingers as Patrick Swayze nuzzles her neck from beyond the grave. Romantic? Mais oui. I thought I might like to share a potter's wheel with my own lover.

So Jason and I paid our dues at the art studio and bought sexy smocks that would not be revealing no matter how enthusiastically I twirled, and away we went.

Sherri was our "clay interpreter", as she called it. About 20 minutes later, we would call her "crazy."

"Clay is like, this magical stuff that's like, just clay, but then you add your essence and you turn the clay into this magical stuff."


With this vital information imparted upon us, she took a break to peel an orange. After we watched her eat a few segments, I put my hand in the air.

Our eyes met. She seemed to eat her orange more menacingly.

"Mmm?" she barely enquired.

"When do we start?"

"Start? We've already started. We are creating art!"

Jason and I exchanged glances with our fellow students. We all seemed equally dubious. None of us were creating anything other than pained expressions.

"Well, when do we get to use the wheel?" I asked, ever the expert prompter, meanwhile I find myself humming something about a hungering touch and godspeeding love.

"The wheel?"she gasped. "The wheel is for advanced students only," she told us, clearly surprised that I could be so stupid as to not know this, disgusted that I thought I might put my grubby, unworthy hands on her precious wheel.

Apparently, the exorbitant studio fee included a lump of clay, a cubby hole to store this lump of clay, and the privilege of sitting in the same room as the Exalted Wheel.

So we were given our lumps of clay. We were shown the tools and techniques for "building" our masterpieces, but the only thing I managed to do was to poke holes into my lump using my thumbs. After about half an hour of "creating art", I had a lump of holey clay that rather resembled a mouldy potato. Jason did much better - his looked like a healthy, edible potato.

And that's where we ran into problems, because here's what they neglect to tell you in the glamourous, glossy studio brochure: pottery drags ass.

It takes weeks, months, to create anything! First you shape the thing, then you leave it to dry, and next week you fire it in the kiln, then the next week you glaze, then the next week, re-fire. You have to have the patience of...of...of a potter to put up with this crap! You don't bring home the finished product until weeks after you've already forgotten about it. It's excruciating.

So I scrapped the pottery-potato, and headed to the "ceramics" portion of the studio. To me, "ceramics" appear to be finished pottery, but to Sherri the clay interpreter, ceramics are a second-class citizen. But ceramics are a short attention span's wet dream. You grab someone else's creation, splash on some garish paints, and you're done. I mean, it's no potato, but still.

Jason did a bowl, I did a plate; we adorned them with atrocious portraits of each other. On the backs, we painted our initials (JET) and these dishes are now destined for a Salvation Army somewhere in the GTA, where we can only hope they will be found and loved and maybe one day they'll be excavated from a dusty old trunk and make an ironic appearance on Antiques Roadshow. One can only hope.

So it's a toss-up as to which was the bigger disaster, salsa or pottery, but thankfully since we did have fun spending time together, even if we simply bonded over our mutual incompetencies, I'd say date night was not a complete bust. And pottery may not have been the aphrodisiac that I'd imagined, but the truth is, we were high on glaze fumes, and that ain't bad.

No comments: