Back To Ocarinas!

I’m always weaving in and out of interests, and this I may have mentioned a multitude of times–here it is again! What’s I’m thinking is simply this: if I tend to rediscover information about something, or re-enter a phase where I’m wanting to learn something new, what do I do about it?
The opportunity to obtain tools necessary to build my own pottery wheel has arrived. In a local auction, held in approximately two hours, an old stone grinding wheel can be re-purposed to act as a flywheel for a kick wheel. Given the amount of momentum I could generate with this thing, I could whip up some pots like crazy!
The thing is, I’ve never done pottery, and I switched out my conversation about ocarinas to talk about pottery wheels. You’re wondering what happened. I know. I realized it myself a few years ago when I was in this same rotation of interests, but there’s a very strong connection to ocarinas and pottery. You’re probably wondering why I’m even typing this out.
Well, as it turns out, pottery is a multiple-thousand-year-old craft which allowed rainwater and food to be stored, and within which food could be cooked. This is a similar idea to modern cookware that’s made of stainless steel, except stainless steel doesn’t crack like pots do under similar thermal shock conditions. That’s because stainless steel is more malleable than fired pottery.

You: Okay, so what about cookware? What are you talking about? Your title says, “Back To Ocarinas!
Me: Slow down! Just a minute!

Music is also multiple thousands of years old, one of the oldest instruments known to man being the didgeridoo. Ocarinas and flutes rank a close second in terms of longevity throughout written and unwritten human history. Some of the oldest flutes are more than forty thousand years old, and these were made of eagle bones and mammoth ivory (in fragments, of course, but still ancient nonetheless!). It fits, then, that some of the oldest characteristics for humans happened to be music and the arts. Besides, pottery is still offered in art classes, so one cannot convince me otherwise!

You: You’re still talking about pottery and old flutes. Bones aren’t pottery.
Me: Yes, I’m aware of this. Sit down a minute, I’m getting to the connection here soon.

Pottery does not just involve pots, although it is safe to say that pots were the primary purpose behind pottery, thus the name. But people can make a great variety of other things out of clay on a wheel, and it just so happens that, when I was first learning about ocarinas and other things of that nature, one such potter by the name of Anita Feng was a known ocarina maker, but that was the only association between pottery and music that I could think of, being that she was the only example of throwing vessel flutes on her pottery wheel. Perhaps she was unique in the ocarina awareness storm that happened in the late aughts and early teens (2006-2017) as she was the only potter (that I knew, of course, but I’ve since learned MUCH more about it) who made ocarinas on a wheel. By the bye, it was my ignorance which fueled my thirst for knowledge.
It’s been occurring to me that pottery is one of those things which consistently keeps calling back to my interests. Sure, I like collecting other things, but ocarinas are the one thing I have not yet had the heart with which to part; and in fact, when it comes to my revolving interests, I keep stumbling upon pottery as something which almost permanently holds my interest on a consistent basis, and I’ve never had proper training in making clay anythings! I did, once upon a time, make ocarinas out of clay, but my capacity to fire them was limited by the fact that the local ceramic art store stopped letting people use their kilns for personal projects due to the increased instances of exploding and damaged pieces. So it was this incapacity to fire ocarinas in the first place which kept me from really diving in to this realm of interest, and my scaredy-cat nature which prevents me from learning how to build a propane kiln out of fire bricks (I’ve watched plenty of videos and tutorials, and I still can’t bring myself to make them for some reason. I know to use ceramic blanket if I’m using an old oil drum. I know to use fire mortar and to drill out a certain number of holes for oxygen supply for a propane kiln. I know how to dig out a hole, pile wood up into a miniature mountain and suspending pieces among the branches properly for an even smoke-fired look. Maybe it’s that ONE step that’s keeping me from actually doing what I want as opposed to what I need to do.)
Lack of financial power really kept the doors closed to my interests, and even more so now due to things which I’ve pretty much brought upon myself (debts, et cetera). On the other side of the coin, I’m always changing interests, and that might be keeping me from really pursuing something of this nature. Whatever it is, I know I’m interested in it NOW, and I would like to get a wheel made or given to me, since I cannot afford to purchase one–and maybe a kiln, too. Maybe I’m being picky about what I want, or maybe option paralysis has its iron grip around my well-being. Whatever it is, I’m feeling pretty strongly in favor of using a wheel to make ocarinas, just as a means for trial and error to see if I can produce some of the nicest-sounding ocarinas I’ve ever made. I understand Menaglio ocarinas tend to sound wonderful!
Do you have an interest in pottery or ocarinas? Or perhaps music in general? Maybe you’re a Zelda fan. Whatever it is you’re into, if you liked this post, share it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter! If you want, I’ll even give you a link to use so you don’t have to go through the trouble of creating your own link: