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After 15 years of diligently working at the potter's wheel, I have finally made a six pound bowl. There are many potters who can throw ten pounds of clay in their first year of learning, but not me. Partly, I don't have the brawn or the large hands to muscle the clay into shape, so I rely on skill. It's taken 15 years to develop that skill.

I'm also an opsimath, one who learns late in life, a definition that also suggests a slow learner. It takes me time to learn, always has.

Here are three bowls: four pounds on the left, 5 pounds in the middle, and six pounds on the right. My coffee flask gives a sense of the size. They'll shrink in the bisque and then the final firing, so I want to photograph them when they're at their largest.

My teacher for many years, Diane Shaw, used to say that potters don't so much experience learning curves as learning plateaus: you keep doing something and the result is never any better. Then one day, you step up to the next level. I've just stepped up to the six pounds of clay level. Woohoo!

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