Yesterday I got back on the wheel for the first time since my surgery (34 days ago). I was a bit anxious about the throwing session, as I wasn’t sure how my hand would hold up but figured it was time to give it a go.
My neglected clay needed a bit of a work-over to get in good throwing shape (some slamming of harder pieces and then integration of very soft clay via wedging). I spent some time during the morning pre-wedging the clay and then took a break. I returned to the studio post lunch and completed a final thorough wedging of my now nice and soft throwing lumps (6 lumps of 2lbs) and had at it.
As the afternoon storm passed by outside, I happily messed around on the wheel (taking the opportunity to try out my new square Speedball bats, which I love!). I’ve got a new bowl concept I thought of while recuperating, so it was fun to finally be able to start on this new project.
Happily, I finished my throwing session without any problems nor serious (or even minor) pain. My hand WAS a bit sore last night, but today it feels fine again. Seems like a good idea to continue to take it slow (no “12 pieces before noon” sessions a-la Michael Klein for me for a while…).
As is probably the experience of anyone going through physical “rehab”, I am being very cognizant of how I use (and now try NOT to abuse) my thumb in the studio. I quickly noticed that my right thumb was definitely my “go to” finger. I’m now trying to better spread the load on my fingers by using both hands for tasks I’m now noticing I used to do solely with my thumb (e.g., prying fairly wet and large lumps of clay of the wedging board). I’ve also noticed that I tend to dig my nails into the (still quite tender) base of my thumb during centering and while squeezing excess water out of my throwing sponges… I’ve stopped doing THAT really quickly! All in all, its great to be back! Now, let’s see how I get on with trimming!!! 🙂