All's Well that Ends Well---or How I Ended Up in 2 ART Classes

People often ask me,"What do you do all day, while Jeff is at work?"

Well, the answer is that I spend a lot of time exploring, and I take art classes!

Today's story is about how I ended up in TWO art classes. It's one of my very favorite stories, and I preface it with an apology to my two dear friends who are part of it--- your names have been changed to protect your identity and our friendship! haha!

When we arrived here, I was soo worried that I wouldn't make a friend. I brought scrapbook material and a lot of books, because I was just sure it would rain all the time and I would be super lonely.  So, when we moved into the Anchor Brewhouse (yes, we live in an old brewhouse!), I felt desperate to meet people to do things with.  So, Imagine my excitement when I met the lovely woman downstairs, "Kari." (She is going to wonder how I came up with this name for her-- I just really like the name, and I have a beautiful sister-in-law named Kari). 

Kari invited me in for tea, and when I admired a piece of her artwork, she told me she had done it in a painting class. Soon we were talking about taking a class together, and I was absolutely thrilled. Yes, I would like to paint, but now I would have an actual, real-live friend who I would see weekly! 
Kari tells me she will look into some classes and will get back to me soon.

The same week, we are invited to Jeff's co-worker's home for a wonderful home-cooked dinner. (much appreciated, since we haven't been able to figure out how to turn on the stove, and turns out she is a brilliant cook!). When we arrive, I discover that Sophie (I also love this name!) is an ARTIST.  An actual artist, with a studio and a gallery who represents her. I tell her that I think I'm going to take a painting class with my neighbor, and she says, "Oh, take a ceramics class with me!"

Me: Oh, I'm not sure. That might be too much taking two classes. I want to travel,  plus, I really have no interest in ceramics. there's nothing I want to make.  
(nope, no cups, dishes, vases, or sculptures of mammals of any kind) 

Sophie: Oh, but you must! How do you even know that the painting class will come through? Here. I'm signing you up for my class. Where's your credit card?

Computer: sounds of clicking and typing

Sophie:  OK, you're all signed up.

Me, looking at the screen: Wait! What? This is an ADVANCED ceramics class! I haven't taken pottery since middle school!

Sophie: Oh don't worry, you will be fine. I'll be there with you, and I'll help you if you get stuck!

(hoping you are still with me on this story)

Kari and I go to the first painting session, which is filled with 16 people, and one self-absorbed nut-case of a woman, who disrupts the whole class. 

Crazy woman: I don't want to do abstract art, I don't want to do landscapes, I don't want to do drawing. I don't want to participate in the group activity, I am very needy and I want the instructor with me the whole time. (ok, i might be exaggerating a wee bit, but not much)

Me, to myself: Crazy Lady, JUST LEAVE! if you don't like the class, don't take it!

Kari, to herself:  Hmm. this is a horrible class, i'm dropping out and not coming back!

The following week, I see Kari in the street, and mention taking the bus to the next class. Kari tells me she has dropped the class and won't be attending any more.  

I go back by myself. It turns out the crazy lady has dropped, and it's actually a pretty fun class. The teacher likes me, and at the end of the term says I should go into the upper level class. In January, with my head fairly swollen, I move up.  This is short-lived. After one session, my head has shrunk to pea-size. These people are gooood.

Beginning painting class, still life project

PART 2 the CERAMICS CLASS (this is the best part!)

Our first ceramics class is coming up, and I text Sophie to coordinate. Remember, this is ADVANCED ceramics and I've never done it. (well, except for those mother/daughter "paint your own ceramics while sipping champagne classes."

Sophie: Oh, I forgot to tell you, I'm missing the first class, i'll be in Spain.

Me: WHAT???

Sophie: You'll be fine. They don't do much the first week anyway. Just be sure to tell the teacher, who knows me well, that I'll be back the following week. 

Me: You are sending me there BY MYSELF???

So I show up (did I mention, by myself?!), and all the students are busy throwing pots, making mass production tableware and generally knowing what they are doing. There are 3 of us sitting at the table, since we are new. The teacher asks us to tell a bit about our experiences with clay. 

Lady 1: I've just moved from Switzerland, but couldn't bring my wheel or kiln with me.

Lady 2: I've been teaching ceramics for 28 years, but have recently moved into a new studio. My gallery wants more of my work, so I just need a place to throw while it's being set up. (CAN I SHOOT MYSELF NOW?)

Me: oh, ya, about that... well, I  just moved from San Francisco, I haven't done ceramics since middle school, and my friend Sophie X who is in the class signed me up. Oh and Sophie wants me to tell you she is in Spain this week, but she will be back next week for sure.

Teacher: Well, first of all, I think you may be in the wrong class. (understatement of the year) And second (as she scrolls down her registration list), I don't have a Sophie X in this class.

me: (Texting Sophie) SOPHIE! What did you do to me?! the teacher says you aren't in this class!!!! yikes!!!!

Sophie: (texting back ) OH, SH**!!!!! I signed you up for the wrong class!I


Postscript: the ceramics teacher was very nice, and let me stay. And somehow I managed, and all the students in the class helped me out. They even put my first piece of work in the showcase! and it turns out that even though I still have nothing i want to make, I love clay, and cant wait to dig my hands into it every week.  And this term, Sophie and I are in the class together! 💕whoop whoop!

Bonus: Kari and Sophie have become my good friends here. (and hopefully will still be after reading this story, haha!)  

...And I still haven't touched the scrapbook stuff.

My first pottery piece, in the showcase 

Tiles I made for the Thames River Project--they will be featured on the columns of the Vauxhall Bridge (I'll be part of history!

some fun vases I'm working on... will have bright colored insides

My First Self Portrait.... argh its hard to do

Teacher reviewing our live model work, beginning class. mine is on the right. 

My sweet ceramics teacher, surveying my chunk of clay
my tile of the Queen in the showcase


  1. Your incredible talent continues to shine in everything you do! I LOVE ALL OF YOUR ART WORK, you need your own gallery!!!!


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