by Charles L. Reynolds
Mention the word potter today and most likely people will think you’re invoking some bratty adolescent sorcerer with a garish scar bolting across his forehead and a reluctant vendetta against a scary man whose name his friends are too afraid to pronounce.
But at Mudflat Studio in East Somerville, a dedicated gang of real-life potters has been casting spells on clay for over 30 years—and teaching their tricks to adult and child students in the process.
“If you watch somebody throwing on the wheel, it looks pretty magical—the clay seems to be just slipping and sliding all over the place. It really can be quite beautiful to watch somebody throw,” said Lynn Gervens, executive director of Mudflat, located at 149 Broadway.
Of course, it’s much harder than it looks, she said. “If the wheel’s going a little too fast or your hands are a little dry and they get stuck, it’s easy to end up with a mountain of wet, mushy clay. It’s really about having some patience to keep at it awhile until it clicks.”
This clicking often occurs in a classroom environment, and Mudflat offers a full-range of classes for students of all ages and abilities, she said.