There is a theory that if you do something for 10,000 hours you will become completely proficient at it. I like this idea, even though it's a very daunting concept, but it also makes me think about how much we have allowed technology to do things for us and how little we have to 'do' anything these days. I have always been envious of people who have the discipline to learn a new language or skill and of course practice makes, if not 'perfect', then definitely 'progress'. I have been potting for three years now and I've kept quite a few of my early pieces; I like to look at them, partly because I am quite fond of them and their shapes but they also remind me of how far I've come. I was like a kid in a sweet shop with the clay at the beginning and I just couldn't get enough of the stuff; I pulled it, coiled it, flattened it, slabbed it, curved it and played with it for hours. Then just as I'd create a shape I half-liked I'd inevitably chip it or break it or a hole would appear in it and I'd have to recycle it, but all the time I was learning what worked and what didn't, what looked good and what looked, quite frankly, terrible! Even now when I pull a piece of sticky wet clay out of the bag it seems impossible that it might become a gold or platinum lined bowl, but I have practised and practised, experimented with form and shape and glazes and lustres until I have made something, out of nothing. I didn't set out to do this, it was more that my discovery and love of working with clay overtook me, but it has made me think; anyone could do this, anyone could learn something completely new at any point in their life from a standing start and I wish I had tried more things earlier in my life. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could step out of their comfort zone, try something new and just keep going, getting better and better until they can see the magic unfold.