An emotional roller coaster. That’s how you might describe a tough week of unexpected things. Or, if you’re me, that’s how you describe your week in the woodturning studio. By 3:30 on Thursday, I’d had enough. I put a plastic bad over the piece I’d been working on (to keep it from drying out) and walked out the door. I hid in a corner of the porch, shed a few tears, and then listened to my heart. The conversation went something like this:
-What do you want to do Rebecca?
-Well, I sure don’t want to make another bowl.
It was that simple. But how to tell the instructor? Ugh. So instead of going back in, I wandered next door to the painting studio. There was near silence as the students painted seascapes and gardens in acrylics. I wandered from easel to easel admiring their work and clearing my head. (Well, figuratively at least. I found out on Monday I’m allergic to sawdust – so it wasn’t possible to literally clear my head.)
Having restored my sanity, I walked back into the woodturning studio. “I’m done,” I told my instructor. “I don’t want to make another bowl.”
“Do you want to make something else?” he asked.
“No. I’m just not having fun anymore,” I said. He had reminded us nearly every day that we were on vacation and we were there to have fun, so he understood my sentiments, but seemed a bit surprised – even a bit crestfallen.
I went over to my lathe and pulled off the hunk of wood that had defeated me. I squirted compressed air over the beastly machine and swept up my plot of studio space as we did each night. My teacher sat in the classroom area a few feet away. It was the first time I’d seen him sit in the studio all week. I couldn’t look him in the eye.
I finished cleaning, walked out, and burst into tears once again. There’s a fine line, I decided, between giving up and just not feeling it’s worth doing something anymore.
The next morning I headed back to the woodturning studio. On this, our last day, all I wanted to do was finish the projects we’d started earlier in the week. This was the first time in my life I’d been the last in the class, the slowest one. While the other students plowed away at new projects, I spent hours finishing the first two we had worked on.
And as I was turning a stem onto my mini-goblet, I remembered how much I enjoyed doing this same technique the first day – experimenting with making beads and coves down a line of pine.
Bowls, on the other hand, were not something I enjoyed. So though I had spent the Thursday night reworking my entire class schedule to avoid wood or traditional “manly” crafts for the next three months, I changed my mind (as I so often do). I even told my instructor I might be interested in a class that focused on spindle work and not bowls. He told me which teacher to avoid – because he’s mean to his female students. Since I’d been near tears more than once in his class, I greatly appreciated his advice.
Next week, I’m taking a cooking class. Unlike the woodturning studio, I have actually been in a kitchen before. I know what a lot of the tools are, and the basics of how to use them. I could even make something with them. So I figure already I’m off to a much better start. And now, I can appreciate every wooden piece I will touch in that kitchen:)