Along with slowly getting my home studio set up, I’ve been thinking a lot more about my body, and how it’s used, and how I could treat it better. 

A few years ago, I did my wrists some damage. I’ve since changed the way I throw–I put my wheelhead at the same level as my elbows, I changed my hand position slightly, I use softer clay, I stretch more (both while throwing and through the day), if I lift lots of heavy things I throw smaller items or don’t throw at all until the next day–and my wrist pain has slowly gone away.

That’s a good, good thing. But I also don’t want to damage any of the rest of me. So as I’m setting things up at home, I have the chance to arrange things to suit me. I wedge on a wooden ex-countertop laid over my washing machine (not pretty, but coincidentally the perfect height for my back, wrists and shoulders). Throwing standing up would require some electrical renovations to my wheel, so that won’t happen just now. But I have a wee tabletop wheel that will be a trimming/underglazing wheel as soon as I set up some plywood at the right height, so at least half of my wheel time will be spent straight-backed. I already do most of my glazing standing up, and am working on being mindful of my posture. I’ve more or less managed to stop locking my knees; the next goal is to stop slouching.

And someday, I will fork out the money for a pugmill. It’ll make reclaiming my scraps much easier. (And, as a side benefit, would allow me to buy dry clay instead of moist, and mix it to whatever consistency I want. Good for the wrists. Also, muuuuuch cheaper shipping. This is important when you live on a rock in the North Atlantic.)

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