Saturday, March 10, 2007

Ceramics lessons 2.27.07

I know. We have only one month before we must leave our little paradise here in Vietri sul Mare. Jessica is arriving the day after tomorrow for two weeks with us and we are excited about showing her around this area. We're going to Sicily for 5 days after that. We sold our car today (we'll rent one while Jess is here) and we have decided to take a course in ceramics before we leave!!

Emma, the new friend we wrote about recently, who works at two different ceramics shops in Vietri, introduced us to friends of hers who are ceramic artists and we were presented with the opportunity to learn from these extremely talented people. Normally their courses are 50 hours. We don't HAVE 50 hours to spare! But their work is fantastic. We loved their house, on a hillside above Vietri, in a little village called Benincasa, with a vegetable garden and a studio overlooking the coast. They have two small children. Their home is filled with their own unique creations, including floors lamps and wall hangings, everything in the kitchen, including the fireplace, all the plates, bowls, coffee cups and platters are just an explosion of color and shape and design. We thought at first we couldn't do it. Not enough time. Not enough money. Too late in our stay to get started with something like this. Then we just looked at each other and said "why has this been put in front of us? In the spirit of this time in our lives, this adventure, we had to go for it. We had to remind ourselves that life is short and you have to grab it when you can and not put things off because you never know if you will have the opportunity again.

We talked with Andrea and Lucia and worked out a schedule, starting that very afternoon. We've had three lessons so far and the three hours each afternoon have flown by. We won't have any lessons while Jessica is here so we can show her around and enjoy her company. We'll start up again as soon as we get back from Sicily and we'll go every day until we leave Vietri on the 31st. Crazy maybe. We just know it seemed like something we had to at least try. Working with the clay, learning how to fire the pieces, apply the glazes and colors, feels kind of like the culminating act of this time in Italy, having spent a lot of time looking at ceramics in Umbria, in Sicily and of course here in Vietri, this home of ceramica. We're sure we won't produce anything of value at this point but just want to learn about it. To try our hand, as it were. And who knows, it might be one more reason to come back here in the future. To take more lessons. To study in the home of ceramics, where they have been doing it for centuries. We just know we're having a blast and that alone makes it worth it.


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