Tonight I took the next step in my ceramics education, I enrolled in a beginning ceramics class at the Kalamazoo Institute of the Arts. Honestly I am a little scared, for a multitude of reasons, most of which I will try and explain in this post.
I am not an artist ( at least not in the typical sense). The last time I took an art course I was in middle school. While I do not think I will suddenly be a great creator of ceramics, I hope I have at least have some skill gained from appreciating the handy work of some incredible artists. I heard it was said that with relatively little practice a major official in Japan was creating chawan with skill shown by those that have practiced for much longer due to the fact that he had been such a lover o f tea and teaware for so long. Honestly the closest I get to being an artist is when I masterfully weave together logical arguments to create a logically sound proof of a mathematical statement.
Besides understanding what I like from a few different glazes and in terms of clay's, I honestly have no clue how to create those effects in the kiln, or in the selection/ mixing process. While I certainly hope some of these things will be covered in a Beginning ceramics course, I can definitely say I am very particular about my teaware, and I am worried that while it may be fun, it will be an exercise in futility in which I create a bunch of pieces I never want to use.
Most of all and I feel somewhat silly in saying this, but I am quite worried that I honestly will not enjoy it at all. Living out in detail the hypocritical critic. Where I write a blog about appreciating ceramics, and enjoying ceramics, critiquing artists work, but in the end not even being willing to ever put my own work on the line. I would feel like a journal editor reviewing submitted papers, in an area I have never worked in. I could try and judge if it meets its end goals, but I would be completely unable to appreciate the beauty in the approach, or the ingenuity in getting the result.