Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I wasted a lot of time these past few months

Okay, I like ceramics class. No one forced me to sign up for ceramics class. In fact, my mom is quite annoyed with me that I'm still taking art classes. I'm in a ceramics class because I like ceramics, and it's my own fault if I've wasted time that I should have spent doing something else.

But I really did not plan to spend this much time on it this semester. It was only going to be a six-week Saturday only class. It was only supposed to take up twelve hours, maybe sixteen or so with the driving and such.

First problem, at the beginning of class I was very disorganized, and I was so low on cash that I didn't have an extra twenty dollars to buy clay. We had clay that we could recycle, but I resented having to spend half an hour or so of class time getting the clay ready. So I had the brilliant idea of coming to school during the week to recycle some clay. And then I had the brilliant idea of recycling all the clay in the recycle bin, so that I wouldn't have to do that again for the rest of the semester, and then that would also leave a lot of extra clay for the other students to use.

I think that I wasted three or four extra days going to school to recycle clay, which I would not have done if I had just had an extra twenty dollars or so to buy new clay.

And then I wasn't going to the last class because of the Halloween party, so I was going to come back on one other day. Really, I was just planning the one other day to make up for the time I missed that day and another hour or so that I missed when I had to leave early twice. Only the on the next to last class the teacher said that we could come back to school to finish up stuff that we threw on those Saturdays. We couldn't throw any new stuff, but we could go to the school later to finish and sand and glaze and stuff like that. So I came a couple more days to do that.

And then there was the whole thing with making a new leaf vase so that I could try to sell the first one. Turns out that the potential buyer is having financial problems and won't be buying any art for a while, so that was sort of a waste of time. It isn't that I regret making the piece, just that it didn't need to be done right now if I don't have a paying customer waiting. So I've spent fifteen hours so far on the new vase, which meant I was in the lab for another five days that I hadn't originally planned to do.

Then there was some time last week that I just wasn't organized. I spent half of a class glazing four bowls. I shouldn't have done that. I should have waited until all the bowls were fired and glazed them all at the same time. And I should have waited to do that until I bought a drill attachment to mix the glazes. Right now the glazes are rather lumpy. So that was some wasted time, plus some wasted time later cleaning up the mess. I'll have to do the rest of it tomorrow, but if I had planned better, I could have just waited and glazed everything tomorrow.

And then I've spent a couple of class periods trying to fix a couple of bowls that have problems. They don't look even, and they are starting to crack, so I'm trying to repair them by sticking more clay on them like leaf shapes and such. And now that I've done all I can do about that, it has occurred to me that after the wheel work was done I could have brought these particular bowls home to add the leaves and such. So that would have saved me a couple of days time right there.

The other thing that has occurred to be is that I don't even particular like these two bowls to start with, so why did I feel like I had to salvage the pieces. I'm not getting a grade. If I don't like something I can just toss it.

So I think that I went to school two or three days that I didn't really have to for a few pieces that I either could have worked on at home or just given up on entirely because I didn't like them that much, another day that I spent glazing stuff that should have waited until tomorrow, five days working on a leaf vase that I didn't need to be doing this semester anyway, and three or four days that I wouldn't have spent recycling clay if I had an extra twenty bucks to buy new clay.

I've spent about three weeks at the school for stuff that I really didn't need to do. I could have been cleaning or looking for a job or knitting stuff that I plan to give as Christmas presents.

Shoulda, coulda, woulda....



Melissa said...

I came here by way of Dmarks blog. I took a ceramics class a long time ago. I didn't find it relaxing, but I do enjoy cross-stitching. I would love to learn how to knit someday.

laughingattheslut said...

If I knew how to regular knit, that would probably be relaxing. But I haven't gotten the hang of it yet.

The Knifty Knitter and other similar loop-type knitting tools are relaxing, but they take me more than thirty hours to do a Harry Potter scarf. Thinking that I would cut that time down to a few hours, I bought the Ultimate Sweater Machine, but that still takes seven hours to make the Harry Potter scarf. So it's less time, but still not fast enough that I could sell them at a profit for less much less than eighty dollars, and most people don't want to spend that much. Machine knitting saves a lot of time, but most of the time I would not call it relaxing. In fact, if you want to do anything fancy with it, it is a lot of work. Right now I am doing my first cable, and it is taking a long time and it's hard on the back and the neck.

So far I have done a few hats and a lot of scarves. I haven't tried sweaters yet, or anything really big like a blanket. I have done several doctor who length scarves, and those came out pretty good.

bulletholes said...

The whole Art of Relaxing is learning how to make time stretch so that you don't mind that it takes 7 hours to do a Harry Potter Scarf. in fact, you would hope that it might take longer, that you would be asble to Grok the scarf in fullness.
Spock knew this.
Have you tried an Ant Farm?
Moon Rocks?
Sea Monkeys?

Hi laffin!

laughingattheslut said...

Sometimes, I enjoy just the process of making stuff, but more and more I would just like to see the stuff get finished. I want a scarf to give to somebody for Christmas, and if I could just twitch my nose or bat my eyes and make one magically appear, then I would do that instead. But I can't do that, so hours and hours and even days and weeks go into knitting and art projects.

The process of knitting and making ceramics and other stuff used to make me feel better, and it was more about spending the time away from my problems that was the important thing more than the finished project. But the problems did not go away, and the process of making art no longer makes me forget the problems. And while I am spending time on the art and such trying to forget, the laundry piles up, the dishes don't get done, and my looking for a job gets postponed and the bills get late notices. So I really am starting to resent some of the wasted time, even if it was my idea to begin with and no one was holding a gun to my head trying to make me finish projects.