I love to cook; but baking was never a passion.  It had to do with 2 things: calories and messiness.  No matter what you bake, there are a lot of calories.  And, sous-potter, Jeff, doesn’t like breads or sweets, which means the bulk of the calories are mine to consume unless I can find some other sacrificial soul.

The other reason I didn’t care for baking was the mess – flour everywhere and sticky hands.  But, working in clay has made me much more comfortable with sticky hands.  Whereas I used to stop every few minutes and wipe them clean, I’m more comfortable with messy hands and only stop to clean them when it is necessary for the task rather than repetitively washing them.  Pottery also taught me how to keep my work space tidy.  I am also more conscientious about using tools and putting them away immediately because no matter what the studio or kitchen size, there is never enough space so I’ve learned to protect workspace by keeping things orderly and out of the way.

As I was making sugar cookies this weekend, I realized how much pottery has improved my baking skills.  I rolled out the dough much more evenly and I didn’t over work it (this may not be a benefit from clay but a result of laziness because most of the clay I wedge has air bubbles in it – I have never been guilty of over working clay).  And, I had a steadier hand when I was decorating the cookies – probably a result of a lot of practice slip trailing.