The class gathered after lunch and went to the Ellen Noël Art Museum, where Steve and Ann gave a fun class on glazing pottery.
We were each given a huge bowl, big enough for a teenager’s breakfast, and invited to glaze them while we listened to Steve talking about artists and pottery, music and war.
I used my blindfold.
In the darkness, the warm organic curve of the bowl sat, solid, its bisque waiting for the colors that I could only feel.
The glazes, Steve says, change colors in ways that are hard to predict. Pale yellow glaze turns to brilliant green after the fire. Mixing green and blue may give you fuscia.
With my blindfold, it was simply an exploration that was tentative, creative and unselfconscious. I look forward to seeing what I have created.
Update I have the bowl!
The Ellen Noël Art Museum also houses the Sensory Museum.
The Sensory Museum is full of fragrant herbs and fascinating textures. The museum’s walls and the trees mute the city’s sounds. It is quietly profound, sharing its peace freely. I let my fellow students bustle ahead as I enjoyed the peace, the wa of the garden.
One of the displays is a strange granite obelisk, carved into a sort of a vertical marimba. Running my cane tip along the petals of stone elicits a chiming musical scale, like glass soda bottles from an almost forgotten summer in my childhood.
Benches made of gnarled roots invite. Listening to others discovering can be peaceful, too.
A sinuous pillar of stone beckons. Each thin layer of stone is rough and sharp, in contrast to the dancing shape of the column.
Windchimes and birds debate, languidly. The traffic is respectfully distant.
The Exploratorium in San Francisco is also a touching museum, but it is a place for restless investigation, for insatiable curiosity. The Sensory Museum is a place to catch your breath. To recenter. To relearn that the wonders of the world are not all meant to be seen.