On a bit of a whim, last weekend I decided to go down to Leeds. I called my sister and asked if I could stay with her on the Friday night, which would allow me to get a later train than if I stayed with my mum. The plan was to hang out with sis until around midday on Saturday, then meet mum for lunch and stay with her until I went back to Scotland on Tuesday afternoon.
So, after the conference on Friday, I caught the train and went down south. I didn’t get to Leeds until after 10 pm but met my sister and we got talking over a bottle of wine. By 1 am we were just about done setting the world to rights and went to bed.
So, the next morning, after a breakfast of Eggs Benedict in a local cafe, we headed off for the main event: Plate painting at Honey Pottery in Horsforth. My sister had been given some vouchers for this a while back and had asked if I fancied helping her use them, so we had a slot booked for midday.
We’d been warned that there was a kids’ birthday party immediately before our slot. The kids had the room upstairs while their mothers hid downstairs drinking tea and coffee and presumably feeling quite relieved to be getting a short break from all the excitement. As they were wrapping up we ordered coffee and took a look at what was available. We’d assumed we’d be painting either plates or tiles, but it turned out that every imaginable piece of pottery was available, from plates and bowls to teapots and utensil jugs. They even had fully ornamental objects available.
I spent a long time choosing. Should I have a teapot? I do already own a teapot… What about this pottery elephant? In the end, I realised I had nowhere to actually keep most of the items and went for a dinner plate while my sister chose to paint a bowl. Then the pressure was on: What to actually paint?
I’m a strong believer that scientists are creative. They have to be. Even so, it’s not the same kind of creativity that a musician or a painter might have (although there are certain superlative individuals who manage both). Anyway, this is my way of saying that I can’t paint for toffee. Also, when given the opportunity to paint I am completely incapable of coming up with any ideas.
I decided it had better be simple because I am unskilled and uninspired (an envious set of traits, I know) and got stuck in painting some flowers. Well, it won’t be winning any prizes, but at least it will be relatively pretty. Once the children had left the pottery was quiet and painting was extremely calming. As bad at it as I am, I could see it being a rewarding and meditative hobby and I’d definitely do it again.
It takes a few days for Honey Pottery to get your creation fired and finished and then you can go pick it up. Sadly for me, I had already left Leeds by then, so I’ll have to wait a while before I see the final product but hopefully, it will come out looking nice.