What I did last weekend

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I’m taking a pottery class! Actually, I am on my second one, but I just brought home my first finished objects last week.

I started in a wheel throwing class, which was not really a success for me. I wasn’t too upset about the fact that I wasn’t very good at it, because new skills take practice right? At least, I wasn’t upset in theory–in practice, I was simply not interested in taking the time to get better. I wasn’t enjoying the process enough. My hands felt all slimy, and I was really pretty terrible.

I stopped when it looked vaguely like something useful...

I stopped when it looked vaguely like something useful…

The instructor did most of this one.

The instructor did most of this one.

The lady teaching the class is very smart, though, and she started showing me some hand building techniques, which I enjoyed quite a bit more. So much that I signed up for a second session to learn more hand building techniques, and actually make something I like and can use (and give away for Christmas presents!)

Coil tree with underglaze in leaf green, dragon red and ivory

Coil tree with underglaze in leaf green, dragon red and ivory

This past weekend I spent a lot of time in the studio, because it takes time to get these things done. I have a ton of clay to use up, because I got 50 pounds of clay for each class, and the first session, I used maybe 10 pounds. Since I started doing hand building, I have been going through it much more quickly, but it still takes a lot of time. I can roll out a slab or a coil pretty quickly, but to get it looking like I want it to? That takes some time.

Last weekend I spent about 8 hours cranking out plates and medallions. A couple of years ago, I did button magnets for my family, and I think the medallions will make a fun addition–another kind of magnet. I didn’t get any pictures of the medallions, but I did get some pictures of the plates:

photo 1photo 3photo 4

As you can see, these are all in progress, but I you get the general idea. They were fairly easy to do in concept–roll the slab, let it dry out a bit, roll a stamp over the whole slab, use giant cookie cutters, place in mold, take out and sit on the table to flatten out the bottom in the middle. It takes a while to do though, between waiting for the clay to dry and polishing off the piece. I have not gotten any of these back from the initial firing yet, but I am cautiously optimistic that they will be awesome, ;).

Anyone else into pottery?

3 responses »

  1. Those look very cool! I hope you post photos when firing etc is done. (I tried to comment before with no success, so if a zillion of the same or similar comment appears, it’s because I am an idiot.)

    • Thanks, Leila! I think this first batch was in the kiln when I went to class on Tuesday, so I am hoping it will be out this weekend. I will need to glaze them and get them fired again, and I am still deciding whether or not to do a green underglaze in the insets….I am very excited about all of this, can you tell? I will definitely be sharing more pictures!

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