- Brute force. I tried to MAKE my clay go where it was supposed to go. This of course did not work.
- Cursing at the clay. I thought, maybe I could insult it into submission. This also did not work.
- Whispering sweet nothings to the clay. This actually did help. I was able to do some of the preliminary work with the clay. I was saying, "Okay clay, go up, go up into a cone. What a good cone you've made. Now let's go down, down into a plateau, very nice, good job. Now back up, let's try the cone again." It was like teaching a three year old... and that three year old was me.
Notwithstanding these successful strategies, everything I made tonight was terribly lopsided and collapsed. I did manage to make bowl-like shapes, which I suppose is something to be proud of, even though the shapes were really only distant relatives of the bowl. (I was trying to make a cylinder, our goal is making a cylinder first, then bowls, then plates!)
Also, I think I may have ruined the pants I was wearing tonight due to the massive amounts of clay that is now embedded in it. I have to wait for them to dry and then I can shake it out over the shrubbery or something since it's just mud, basically.
So, long story short, I am going to have to go in to do a lot of practice.