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!