throwing on the wheel

rolling the fresh clay with vigor and aggression and slamming it onto the wheel. manipulating its shape into a spiraling tornado, only to compress and center it into the form of a circular disk. spinning to the rhythm of the foot like a high-wire balancing act. puncturing a hole in the middle just far enough to familiarize with its mass, but not enough to penetrate it altogether. pulling at its chubby cheek from one side, outward ’til its grin deepens and pinching upward ’til its smile bends. acquainting itself with every arch, the steel scraper smooths out excess water which trinkles down and down. whirling round, it goes, the pointers comfort the rim slowly, easing their way to its trust. voila! a masterpiece. a nice and even slice to its roots and it sits again, still and ready. ’til a wave starts to brew in the arms of coupled hands. forward, back, lift, and sit. resting a couple of nights until leather-hard becomes bone dry. not too concealed for it’ll stay wet. not too exposed for it’ll crack. feeling for its hardness, the hands measure its strength. into the kiln. while leaving rosy kisses, the earthware firing shields its skin. soon the hibernation ends. it’s glazing time. dipping it into the pool of chiapas blue and coating it, nice and snug. attention to purpose as the bottom is wiped clean for it to roam freely from table to table. in the kiln it goes again, my friend, until its baked to perfection. cooling off, it finally sits comfortably. it marinades in all its glory.

then a pair of dahlias come by and plop their butts on its head.

 

By Cynthia Suarez

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