Last May we pulled our daughter, Emma from school and began homeschooling or non-schooling or… I’ve written more about all of this on the other blog, the one I share with my daughter: Emma’s Hope Book. One of the many benefits of homeschooling, aside from the huge relief and plummeting stress level, is that we get to explore, together and separately. The beauty in exploring is that the goal is to be curious and discover. There’s no right or wrong and there’s tremendous comfort in that. The entire process of learning becomes one of joy and experimentation without the burden or stress of feeling one should know something before having learned it.
So it was, some eight months ago when I sat down with Emma and asked her what she was interested in learning about. She typed that she wanted to learn German and take a ceramics class among a number of other things. So we bought Rosetta Stone for German and Emma began taking pottery lessons at a nearby ceramics studio. Her teacher, seeing my obvious excitement and interest, asked if I might like to make some things too. I eagerly said, “Yes, please!”
Learning anything new is full of experimenting, exploring, tweaking, practicing and refining techniques learned. To dive into something you’ve never done before can be daunting, but only if you are comparing your work to another’s. Particularly crushing is if you expect you will be able to produce something that is of similar expertise as someone who has been studying and refining their technique for decades. The exhilaration comes with the process of learning, practicing and improving. But so often we are not taught that this process is wonderful at all. In fact, we are taught that it is hard work and the end product, only produced after years of practice and toil, is all that is of value. Everything else pales in comparison.
This cereal bowl that Emma made for me is perfect for walking while eating. It has an indentation that perfectly fits one’s thumb while cupping the bowl in your palm. Why hasn’t anyone designed a bowl like this? I’ve never seen one before, but oh, how I love it. This is my new, favorite bowl.
The platter below? “It matches” was what Emma typed in reply to my exclamation that I thought it perfect for serving cheese and crackers or maybe a brioche en croute with fresh baguette.
This bowl that Emma made used cookie cutters and then she painted after joining all the shapes.
A few months ago, or maybe it was years, (this is an aspect of getting older, the years feel like months, yet another example of that saying people tell you when you first become a parent – the days are long, the years are short) I asked Emma if she had any interest in learning to knit. She said she did, and as I love knitting (I wrote about some of that “here“) and used to design knitwear, I thought we’d start with something simple, like a scarf. Emma chose a light blue yarn. After a couple of tries, she lost interest and so I began making a long scarf using an alternating knit 2, purl 2 pattern. I rarely use knitting patterns or cooking recipes for that matter, but that’s another post. Anyway the scarf began like this.
The finished scarf ended up measuring 87 inches in length and 11 inches wide. What you don’t see is the other side where I changed my mind after an inch or so and decided to make the pattern more elongated.
This is the edge where I began knitting and decided to change the stitch. Three times. The final stitch pattern is a Knit 2, Purl 2 for three rows and then Purl 2, Knit 2 for 3 rows and repeating for the remainder of the scarf.
I’m hoping Emma will try knitting again sometime, but in the meantime, I’ve started a couple of other projects, one is this deep blue chenille yarn that I’m knitting, using a newly learned brioche stitch, into an infinity scarf for a friend.
And finally this is one of my ceramics projects.
For those familiar with my jewelry, this may remind you of something else…