Mukkamala chimes in: "Ahhh ... we teach and share."
Teacher Jim Hores explained his relationship with the art.
"Not to be philosophical, but when I'm centering the clay, I'm centering myself." A building contractor by profession, Hores is a kind and patient teacher.
"He's the best," Gogineni said, smiling at the instructor.
"All of the credit goes to him," Mukkamala added.
Humbly, Hores said he is merely the vehicle to help them. He's studied in Italy and at the University of Georgia and has continued attending workshops and other classes. At one point, Hores worked for a potter in West Virginia and made 300 identical mugs every Thursday through Friday.
"I promised myself I would never make the same thing twice, but it's very easy to make 100 different pieces. The control it takes to make 100 identical pieces is harder," he said.
Did any of the members of the Taylor Books class have artistic training before getting involved with the pottery?
A big laugh goes up from all of the folks gathered around the wheels. Although their pottery is professional and artistic, they claim to be novices. Mukkamala and Gogineni have been taking the classes for several years; Goldfarb's approaching her first anniversary.
There are two kilns, six wheels, one slab roller, one extruder and one pug mill. A grant helped the group purchase a pug mill, used to recycle any unused clay, making the operation cost-efficient. The class praised Taylor Books owner Anne Saville for chipping in to help pay for the machine and for her continued support of the classes.
Classes are open to students of all skill levels: beginners will receive one-on-one instruction, starting with the basics, while more advanced participants will be encouraged to develop their skills through friendly mentoring. Other components of ceramics, such as hand building and the glazing and firing process, are integral components of these courses. Registration deadline is four days before the start of a class. Class size is limited and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.
The classes cost $95 for four weeks, and include three hours of instruction each week, 25 pounds of clay, glazing, firing and the use of the pottery studio any time the Capitol Street bookstore and gallery is open. Additional clay is available at $15 per bag. For hours or to reserve a spot, call 304-342-1461.
But most of the folks in the Taylor Books basement don't live within the parameters of the classes. When asked how often they are working, the question is met, again, with laughter.
"Five days a week? Six days a week? Eight days a week?"
Reach Sara Busse at sara.bu...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1249.