Pottery

Finally! the pottery post I've been wanting to write for the longest time. I figure I'd write about my first 12 weeks of pottery before I start another session in the Fall. Hopefully, that statement is indication enough of how much I've grown to love this new hobby! The picture above shows all the stuff B and I made in the span of 3 months. Mine are on the left, and B's are on the right, in case you couldn't figure out whose style is which. 

B and I had been talking about taking pottery for years now, so in February we decided to take the plunge. We figured it would be a great way to pass the time during the winter. In the studio we found, each session is 6-weeks long, meeting for a three-hour class each week. We also were allowed to come in and work on our skills during studio hours, which we, for sure, took advantage of.

I'll be frank-- I barely made anything during the first six weeks of class. I went into the class having zero experience with pottery, so I spent a lot of time learning the basic skills of throwing on a wheel, which  for me involves a lot of upper body control and strength. Apart from that, I had to learn how to trim each piece and then experiment on glazing. I went through almost 50 lbs of clay, and had to rework a lot of it to use them over and over again.  

Even though I didn't make very much, I knew I was hooked, and each week, I could see my work improving. So, I signed up for the next session and immediately set to work. I did a lot better the second time around, and even had time to experiment with hand building (my panda hot plates and cat saucers were handbuilt!). I also was able to try out different glazes (my favorite, so far, is a metallic glaze called Palladium) and clay types (my clay preference is a midfire, textured clay, #606  from Laguna). Below are my favorite pieces!
I made a couple of these small bowls perfect for individual dipping sauces or for assembling small ingredients while cooking. These started out as 0.5 lbs, which is just as much of a challenge as doing a 5 lb bowl, at least for me, it is. The standard weight we began working with was 2 lbs.  
Soup bowl! I struggled with making bowl lips for a very long time, as well as making bowls with evenly sized walls. This is the best formed bowl I've made to date, and I really like how my dip glazing came out.
All my stuff has my name and a cat drawn on the bottom. :)
My favorite creation of all time is the panda cup! To make this, I threw the cup on the wheel (I think they were 0.75 lbs to begin with) and then attached some cut out ears. After drying and the initial firing, I dip glazed and drew on the eyes and nose. I am thinking of making more animal cups (bowls and plates!) come the next session!
These little clay jars with lids are just the cutest, right? Of course they are! since B made them. They're the perfect size for putting spices, nuts, and my vitamins, so I begged B to give them to me. The glaze of the one on the right is downright gorgeous, and B doesn't even remember exactly how he got that effect. Some people are just lucky.

Apart from learning techniques, I spent a lot of time in class figuring out how to incorporate my aesthetic into pottery. That continues to be the hardest obstacle for me, especially when most of the people in the studio don't really subscribe to eating off of cat shaped plates or drinking from a panda's head. B's style resonates a lot more with the folks there, and I think he's just more artistically inclined than I am. Nonetheless, I plan on throwing and hand building more later this year, so you'll definitely see more of my crafts!

23 comments:

  1. Those are awesome, well done you :)) I loved pottery class, I found it so much fun. Would be awesome to do again sometime. Love your work, the panda cup is my favourite too, so sweet :) xx

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  2. That is one awesome collection of pottery you've both been busy making - those glazes set them all off perfectly. I remember going on a school outing when I was about eight to a pottery but all we made was a little duck - which my parents still have. Love that panda cup - adorable!

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  3. Bravo Laura - your pieces are really cool! I like the glazed finishes and the panda cup is too cool! You are inspiring me to try this out some time too and make a few bowls!

    xoxo,

    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

    -

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  4. ok my jaw literally dropped reading this. these are amazing!! i love that panda cup and those panda plates :) such a great job!!!

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  5. I love the panda cup!! It is adorable! One of my best friends does pottery - her dad even has his own wheel! It's pretty impressive!

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  6. These are great. It's kind of the best of both worlds for a hobby because you're making something you can use and it gets to be pretty. I can't wait to see what you do next, especially if it's more animal plates/cups.

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  7. Beautiful, Laura, and it's fun that you guys found something to do together. I think that's always important :) It's fun to see the difference in style between yours and his, too!

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  8. Wow you guys are good! What a great hobby to do together. Love that panda cup! It's really adorable!

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  9. So lovely! I'm very impressed. I took a few pottery classes when I was a teenager and loved it. Very cathartic to slam the clay around. But I have to say I never managed to get anything as gorgeous as what you guys have turned out!

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  10. Yay glad that you finally shared the post. I saw the panda piece right away. I love it! This makes me want to do more pottery. Well done, Laura. :)
    Random Bits & Pieces<

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  11. Wait, there are people who don't like eating off of panda plates? That's just wrong. I like a lot of B's stuff, too, but if this was a sale I would buy all of the panda. ALL.

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  12. Thanks, Kizzy! I hope you get to do pottery again. It sure is super fun!

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  13. Thanks, Rachael. Oh! I think it would have been cute seeing all the little ducks you and your classmates made!

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  14. thanks! If you get the chance, you must try it! It's relaxing and also a great outlet for creativity.

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  15. thank you, Beth! I want to own my own wheel and kiln one day. ONE DAY! :)

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  16. I very much agree, Sarah! I like things that I can create THEN use! I am so excited to make more animal eating ware. I started making some drafts, but I keep on changing my mind!

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  17. Thanks, Larie. Yeah! It's nice to find something that we both want to do but aren't doing too similarly. His style is totally different than mine!

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  18. Haha, thanks. Tracy! we're not "good" yet, but we're getting there!

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  19. Thanks, Danielle! Totally agree with it being super cathartic. I LOVE being able to just slam all that clay and work my anger through it! I am sure you made some lovely pieces!

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  20. Thanks, Madison! Hope you get to do some pottery again soon!

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  21. Thanks, Rachel :) I am so happy someone appreciated that lip since it took weeks to get to that point!

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  22. For reals right? I'm like, I'll eat off of those animal heads ALL THE TIME.

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