Ceramics and Rowing

In the spirit of sometimes leaving the house and not spending my entire life working or writing while lying on the couch, (or in the bath reading novels), I’ve taken up rowing in addition to ceramics. It’s pretty satisfying to have acquired two new skills in the last few months.

In the rowing club we use eight-person boats where everyone has one oar each, or four-person boats with double oars. We go out on the river in among the mangrove islands and it’s beautiful and silent and there are lots of wonderful birds. I feel lucky to live in Florida where even in winter at the aggressively early hour we meet to go out, the coldest it has been is low 50s.

Today I went out in the eight-person boat for the first time in a couple of weeks and we are definitely getting better–instead of flailing around like a waterbug having a seizure, we actually got some smooth rowing in even with all eight people. Though I think the fours are slightly more fun.

Really I would unreservedly love this new hobby if we didn’t meet at 7:15 am. I definitely don’t mind waking up early and I like the fresh new mornings, but I have way more trouble falling asleep if I know I have to get up–which is so counterproductive–and then I sleep extremely lightly and wake up every hour or so expecting it to be time. It’s stupid because normally I would only sleep maybe one more hour but knowledge of the the slightly earlier time makes me have an awful night! Last night I finally reached some REM sleep and was deep into a full-scale battle with the Borg (we’ve been binge watching Star Trek: Voyager) when my alarm went off dragging me back from a planet lightyears away. Still it was worth it when we got out on the water.

Getting decent at throwing ceramics on the wheel has definitely taken some patience, but I’m finally to the point of regularly making cool things I want to keep, and I finally got my first wonky endeavors all the way through the two rounds of firing and the glazing. The glazing is such a strange part of the experience because the glazes look completely different going on and when they come out of the kiln. The ones below were chalky white, green and orange before firing.

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