Playground Memories: getting one's hands dirty

My favorite game at the Elephantom workshop?

Playing with the slurry (aka mud).

Like you, I was introduced to a game as a child in the playground. A bit of dirt, a bit of water and it was fun to play in the mud. Since the opening of the Elephantom workshop, this game of clay has come back into my life and I can tell you without any shame: I love it!

Ever since, I have been able to rediscover the ropes of this game on freshly turned clay: the different textures obtained, the position of the hands on the item being crafted, the speed of the wheel and the speed of the gestures. I remember my amazement at the first textured flower pot coming out of the kiln and coming to life on the ceramic lathe machine! Being able to discover how light reflects on the object and to touch the textured surface created with a simple caress of the fingers.

Cache-pot céramique texturé artisanal - Collection Basalte


Jouer dans la boue

My first experience on the lathe led me to discover how much serenity it brings me. I felt that this new "game", in addition to creating pottery with a unique tactile experience, would allow me to refocus. I kept on working on the lathe and rediscovered the pleasure of joyful games as well as calmness. That's what playing with slurry on the ceramic lathe is all about.

It allows me to chase away my inner clouds and avoid overwhelming my mind with emotions and preoccupations. How does it achieve that? By first concentrating on centering the clay and then, while turning the lathe, by taking the now liquid clay and letting my fingers play and create, allowing me to finish the piece completely soothed.

The slurry gives me the same kind of joy as the one children experience when playing with mud in the playground.


Then comes the second step, creating another item from the same collection. I sit down in front of the lathe and start playing my scales as if I was still learning the piano. Centering, digging, shaping the walls. With each new crafted item, the memory of the gestures settles in and the newly created shapes become a part of me. "To throw, you have to be firmly rooted in the present", Stéphanie used to tell me during my first wheel throwing lessons. And she was right, I only need to be truly present for these shapes to reappear again. Over time, I can't help but to continuously expand my repertoire of gestures and shapes. What a pleasure it is to play !

Pièces céramique en création - Collection Basalte

"Seeds sown in childhood develop long roots," says Stephen King. So for 2021, let's not forget to water them to become young again!

Best wishes to you and see you soon.


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