I really love working with clay in ceramics.
I love cutting it off the block. I hate that clay that other people have touched. That claw is always dry and broken and crumbly and completely unco-operative. I refuse to use it. I make the instructor go and get me a fresh bag.
I stretch my wire taut, pull it towards me, catch the clay in my hands. I immediately start kneading it in my hands as I carry it towards the table. I'm already shaping the clay. As I warm it while I'm kneading it to get rid of air bubbles, those imperfections that I can never rid myself of in the real world.
I'm already asking the clay. I'm already asking it if it will do the things I need it to do. I'm already shaping it.
My fingers dig into the clay, pulling and pushing and tearing.
The clay will do what I ask it to. I just have to be patient. I just have to be willing to find the things that the clay will be and won't be. It's sometimes harder than it seems.