Many people have the misconception that a destination does not have much to offer and should only be allocated a certain period of time. However, this depends a lot on the ‘seeker’ and your purpose of travel, amongst other factors. The proverb, “seek and you shall find” is most appropriate for those who are unable to fathom staying longer than the norm in destinations that has been stipulated ‘dead dateline’.
For a respite from ancient temples or mindless bingeing and drinking, how about cultivating your body and mind? My ideal of meditation came in an alternate form, a break from the usual yoga practice or shakyo. The Khmer Ceramics and Fine Arts Centre offers pottery classes for one to unleash your creativity and bring home personalised creations as unique souvenirs.
Before you dismiss this as a boring art session, think again. Pottery does not look as easy as it seems, but neither is it impossible. It merely requires perfecting the coordination of limbs while maintaining a gentle but firm touch. The latter is most challenging for the clumsy me but ‘practice makes perfect’. Imagine trying to manage the pottery wheel while shaping your clay into something useful.
While it certainly didn’t help that I was busy chatting with Teren – my pottery teacher who’s an aspiring youth and earnest learner – the cultural exchange was fun and meaningful. The supposed 2-hour session transpired to a half-day affair amid my slow progress. Yet, my teacher and companion were patient.
After shaping our bowls, we have to design them. Angkorian designs were shared with us, including the artist’s tools for our usage. Soft pop music flowed in the background from Teren’s mobile while I worked quietly alongside an old friend. I was lost in my own world, trying to leave my mark on my art piece. There was a sense of tranquility, and the whole session struck me as therapeutic.
Note: If you plan to bring home your creations, note that your pottery will be left overnight at the arts center to be fired and glazed. It will only be ready and functional on the following day whereby it will be delivered to your accommodation.
The above information has been compiled based on various sources, including my own experience and should only be used as a reference. For more information on the destination, do check out: http://www.khmerceramics.com