I was working full time, as most people do. But I knew I needed to do something outside of work. I started with guitar, but realized that it wasn’t really for me. I remembered when I was about eight or nine, I had a taster ceramic class at my local community centre, and I really enjoyed it. So I thought maybe I should try it again. If I don’t like it, I can move onto something else. I tried, and I loved it! From the moment I got into the classroom, having my hands on the clay, I just immediately connected with it, and I’ve never looked back.
Sometimes when you start or try something new, you can’t quite get it right. You are frustrated; you are discouraged. That never happened to me with ceramics. I was frustrated but I was never discouraged. I had many times when the final work didn’t turn out to be quite what I wanted, but there’s always an opportunity to learn. Sometimes that takes you to a completely different direction, but that’s ok, because you can see the improvements you make along the way. You never get bored.
Also what I love about ceramics is that when you show your work to people, it opens up a conversation. It allows you to connect with people, people from very different backgrounds, to see your work through their eyes – from their perspectives. You put your own interpretation on your work, and they see something completely different. This is great, and sometimes very different from other aspects of my life.
I never considered myself artistic, but slowly, I came to appreciate the fact that art comes in many different forms. Unlike the academic environment where I came from, there is no right or wrong, just your own expression. I used to have the feeling that I must do certain things at certain time in a certain way, but I am more relaxed about it now. Take throwing for example, even though I’ve been to many courses, seen many other people’s works and techniques, I realized that the best way to do it, is the way that works for you. Intellectually I knew this, but it’s a different thing to experience it.
Luyi Brown, founder of Puzzle of Nature