A Humble Bowl

Right, so it’s 6:15pm on a Wednesday in August, that gives me precisely 1.75 hours to get this typed and posted before the holy grail of television airs aka The Great British Bake Off (praise be to Mary Berry). Lets do this.

For this post I’m going to have to ask you to cast your minds back a month. I know it’s asking a lot of you, given you’ve actually made the effort to read this, but I’m lazy and a month ago I was too distracted by typing posts on my family. In short just pretend everything you’re about to read is in the present…

Annnnddd we’re there! Ok, so as part of my attempts to learn a skill/meet real life humans out of the office I enrolled on a pottery evening course at the local college. I thought “finally a way to release my creativity on the world!”, my family “bless, this will be a good outlet for her love of all things muddy”.

The first stages of any new skill are always rocky. Throughout the first term there were misshapen bowls a plenty and, like all potters, I had to undergo my share of heart break. The bottomless pot was my first experience of death by kiln. Before:

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After:

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But with a little patience and a lot of clay and paints, my first creation was released into the world. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you a humble bowl:

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And this was BEFORE it was glazed.

(Shall I just give you a moment to take in this artistic wonder? Sure.)

Now this may shock you but some people weren’t so quick to recognise this humble masterpiece. In the words of mumma Bennett, “Is that is? No seriously” (c. 2015), lil bub Bennett “Is it meant to be quite so unsymmetrical?” (c. 2 seconds after mumma Bennett) and Papa Bennett, “well at least you got something for you’re £90 tuition” (c. a long time of deep thought after mumma and lil bub Bennett). Well in response to the harsh words of the critics I decided to prove my humble bowl did have an artistic and physical purpose. As the artistic purpose will be something for the Historians to decide I thought I’d prove some of the physical uses for my bowl. Did someone say photo gallery…?

A Humble Bowl – C. 2015

A Modernistic Creation of the Incredible Artist Dame (I’m starting the campaign now) Alice Bennett

(Please note: This is a modest creation and this gallery is no way a reflection of how much time the artist has on her hands. Nor is it a reflection of her mental state of mind or at least not at present, we’re still waiting on the test results.)

For this gallery I will be using a soundtrack to set the upmarket scene. A lovely little classic titled: The Sims: Build Mode

The humble bowl can be used for a variety of purposes. It can be used for storing tea:

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Or maybe even a tasty snack:

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(“Where are you pita bread? Oh there you are! You were in the humble bowl!)

It can even help your commute by storing those pesky train tickets. Heck, if arranged nicely you may even forget the extortionate price you paid for them:

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You can place it on a window sill:

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Or by your front door:

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Look how welcoming a sight that is.

Fed up with Avon catalogues? No worries, the humble bowl can store those too!

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The humble bowl (thb, I’m getting repetitive strain injury from typing the humble bowl). Can sit on your sofa. It makes a perfect companion to watch Pointless with

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In fact you can leave it to sit on the sofa all day. While you’re away it’ll ponder the meaning of life:

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Which is deep…

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…Real deep:

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So deep that thb creates it’s own life. He reads the paper:

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Checks out what cars he can afford:

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Maybe he’ll then try and chat up the living room lamp:

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And then later on he’ll have a soiree with the other misshapen bowls created:

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But then thb can also be used for more mundane, predictable uses such as wearing it as a hat:

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Heck, it’s so amazing you could even give it to someone as a March Christmas present:

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I kid you not, that Christmas tree was in our living room until May.

Overall though, you’ll just be so dam happy to have this piece of practical art in your life. Look how happy this crazy person is:

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In short it is a humble bowl. I’m very modest about my work as you can tell, I can only ask the public try to contain themselves also. I am potentially open to creating merchandise linked to my bowl, specifically t-shirts, posters and pens, but ultimately it’s all about the art.

Joking aside I was a little bit pleased when I finally got to take this lump of clay home. It was the first thing that had survived my clumsy hands/the kiln and proved to me that if I put my mind to something I could do anything. I went on to do another term of pottery at the same college which finished in June (that reminds me, I really need to pick up my completed tea pot at some point) but I do not intend to do another. It was a great experience but I felt I had learnt all I could for now. I knew how to make pinch, coil and mould bowls and, most importantly, I had mastered the art of the potters’ wheel (or at least the basics) ready for when Patrick shows up:

What pottery didn’t give me though was the young social vibe and the new friends I was hoping to get from the experience. Everyone there was lovely, all very chatty and helpful, but they weren’t my age and they were all at stages in their life I couldn’t begin to relate to. Retired, divorced with children, grandparents with grandchildren my age, I was never going to be able to fully bond with these people. My hunt to meet new people in Swindon continued…

This seems like as good a place as any to end this evening. Also gives me 33 minutes to review and get this post uploaded before Bake Off. Tonight, bakers will do amazing things in the kitchen and create Show Stoppers that’ll make my mouth drop (quick shout out to Paul’s Lion from last week):

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While that is going on I will be mastering to eat this, a piece of cheesecake I squashed last night when I lay down on it.

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Notice there I said last night.

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