A couple of nights ago, I received a heart-warming email from one of the students from my Jan. 23 polymer clay workshop. (Thank you Macy!)
It reminds me of why I love teaching. As I wrote in another blog entry years ago, sharing that aha! moment with the participant is priceless - that moment when their face lights up and you know they finally got it.
Jan. 29, 2010
From Macy Sagritalo
Oh, hello. I wrote something about the workshop experience and I thought of sharing it with you. :]
I could begin my narrating my newfound interests in crafts, my heightening love for CubaoX as a place and my fixation for things pretty and vintage but I spare thee, dear readers.
A few hours before the chosen hour, I kept asking myself “What did I get myself into again?” It had been a daily trend in my thoughts, I involve myself in so many things trying to discover what is meant for me or not. For example, chorale had been for me, the gym had not. So while walking around tying together errands, papers, the photo shoot, classes and the “class”, uncertainties loom over my thoughts.
But I have to go through with it.
(there are trivial things rather put out of sight)
I’ve always thought I’ve never been good with my hands. I always knew I was clumsy (hello bruises) and lacked dexterity, so I was tad anxious if clay would turn out as an unrecognizable mesh of matter in my hands. If that would be the case, it would mean a great deal of frustration from my teacher and a great deal of chagrin on my part, so it is not at all an ideal scenery.
I signed up for a Basic Polymer Clay class. The schedule at first seemed problematic for me, because it might clash with my prelim exam for Drama class. But thankfully our professor required us to submit a prelim paper an entire week earlier (thank you Providence) so I was able to go.
I went to the Beadlady Craft Café from UST and as with many other occasions, I had been eternally not on time (to which I now recall with much lament). When I arrived, flustered, they were beginning to make roses and this brought upon me a mild feeling of panic. How in the universe would I make roses with this unassuming bar? More so, have I missed that much that my, erm, classmates have magically transformed into proficient rose-making beings? Would my rose turn out to be a rose?
Apparently it did, much to my surprise, as with the other projects made. Things brings to me the idea that this class has hypnotizing powers because the projects I were able to make did not turn out horrible at all! Imperfect, yes (so much for sporadically obsessive-compulsive me) with the fingerprints and smudges and all but it was… alright. I am even amazed to a certain extent at what I was able to create, to think that this was my very first time.
The feeling afterwards was akin to a creative release. Clay, with all its potential! The possibilities were not daunting at all. It was, on the contrary, thrilling. This is coupled with the courage and confidence of knowing not only what to do but what not to do. Because when you come into this class you are not only taught how to shape clay – you can read that in books – but you are also taught all those insider’s secrets (like which paints can be used, what happens when you story clay in hard plastic, etc.) which can only emanate from experience. The road had been cleared out for you, mistakes were made so you could learn from them.
And oh, how we did learn. If you ask me if I would go through the class all over again I would answer a resounding yes. The memories still hang around in my reverie, actually. I remember, while in the middle of the class I literally found myself very much at ease and contented sitting in that white chair, with clay, tools and stamps laid before me in that big, bright table I share with my classmates who are in this journey with me and a teacher leading us through it. And rarely would a person feel that kind of contentment.
I also liked the whole ambiance of it all. The air conditioner humming loudly while we try to make something out of clay, the light walls, the occasional craft items lined around the room, the silence shattered by light-hearted talk with classmates and the lessons we are taking in. I also loved how the lessons were taught: relaxed, non-rigid, from the heart. And there were very few lulls in between because we would always have questions and she would always have something to share. And this simply must be mentioned, we loved the food! It was not an ill-prepared something just for the sake of saying oh we served food. It was one of those special occasions food with drinks and desserts to boot (oh black sambo) I appreciated that thoughtfulness as much as I appreciated the flavors (lol, thank you Amici).
When it comes to art of any kind, I am discerning of my influences. When I want to learn from someone it is in the light of complete trust. And I am happy, that this experience had been all worth it.
For the meantime, I put the projects in a small paper box and put it in my cabinet. When I open my dresser for whatever reason, I catch a glimpse of them and can’t help but feel a tiny glow of joy. Clay and its possibilities. This is just the beginning.
I would like to thank my batch mates Ms. Carlene, Ms. Vel and Ms. Fiel for the kindness, talks and timed silences, Ate Cute for her cheering disposition, and most especially, Ms. Angeli for her pure artistic sincerity and for not only teaching me about polymer clay, but through this also opened for me a new world of possibilities. Thank you!
That's all. Have a nice day!
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