I'm having my own little party here inside my shell. It's a monumental day in my history.
It took me close to an hour to get to class as a result of our recent snowfall translating to a prolonged rush hour "drive home".
On arrival I got right on the wheel - no messing about. I discovered, to my amazement, my first ball of clay centered REALLY well! I thought to myself,
"This must just be a fluke... it couldn't honestly be that I've... 'got it'?"
I centered another.
And yet another.
Well, I was impressed! Apparently I HAVE "got it"! According to our instructor, it takes the average student 12 weeks to master centering. Of course, if the clay is not centered, you really have nothing because... well, I think that's obvious!
What I discovered after doing my little happy-dance of clay cetering was that I have yet to master the art of one of the next steps. I can "open" a piece (put a hole in it), but apparently I have yet to grasp (literally) the art of "raising". This is where you give your piece some height by drawing the sides up between your fingers. Applying just the right pressure is a matter of feel and experience.
I've learned how to centre a ball of clay - in about 4 weeks longer than "average", so I'm happy. You see, with anything new, my learning curve is such that I don't gradually do better and better and better. I appear to fumble horribly forever and ever, then one day it just "clicks" and I have it. And I have it for life.
Pottery is apparently no different.