Pottery, improbably, is the latest escapist pastime to sweep the nation. Because making ceramics requires persistence and all-consuming concentration, it is said to be a perfect salve for a particular set of modern anxieties — too much work, too much news, too much internet. When your hands are slathered in clay, you cannot fiddle around with your phone.

To me, a serial hobbyist who has been looking for a saner balance with tech, all this sounded wonderful. In January, I began taking a weekly pottery class at a local arts school. I’m still a novice ceramist at best, but every week, bowl by bowl, I get a little better.

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