Saturday, April 04, 2009

Playin' in the Mud...

Last November, I took a "Clay Date" with a friend. For $35.00 total, the two of us took a two hour class on the basics of working with a pottery wheel. We made a number of bowl-like things that Shelley, the instructor and owner of the store, then trimmed and fired. We came back in and glazed them and then the store fired them again.

These are the two bowls from the clay date. When I started, they were little balls of grey clay.

My friend and I both enjoyed the clay date well enough to sign up for the beginner wheel class. It was six weeks long, and extra time in the studio was covered by the class fee. I spent several Saturday mornings in the studio in addition to the class time. The last class was a week ago last Thursday, when we glazed our work.

Today, on an absolutely beautiful day, I spent my morning in the studio - my first as a member. And, I picked up the first 6 of the bowls I made during class. There are a few more, but they're still waiting for the next firing.

The flash on the camera made a substantial difference in the appearance. The clay we used for class was different than the clay date. It's called speckled brown, and it's A LOT darker.

There was a teapot class at 1:00, so we cleaned up the mess we'd made. My friend brought her lunch - the last of the chicken and dumplings from last Saturday. Our plan was for me to grab takeout from somewhere and eat together at a park... and then one of the other ladies brought in french fries and a burger from next door. OMG it smelled divine! So we hatched a new plan. I bought french fries for both of us and she shared her leftovers - we ended up wolfing it down on a bench in front of the restaurant. So yummy!

As we discussed food options, she kept saying that we had bowls. (She was much more prolific than I was and brought home 12 bowls of assorted sizes today.) I kept looking at her, and saying "I know that!" and then going back to trying to figure out how to split the container of chicken and dumplings. Eventually, the light dawned, and I washed this bowl and used it for my potion of her lunch. It worked quite well.

The rim of the bowl is a raku blue and it bubbled a bit, but I think it'll be okay.

This one started quite a bit taller and then I tried to trim the rim to make it even and ended up with... almost a plate. I need to work on my trimming. (The inside of this bowl is the same glaze as the inside of my clay date bowls - what a difference the clay makes!)

Once, I managed to make the clay go in the direction that I wanted. That would be this bowl. I'm quite happy with it, but I'm not hugely fond of the color. *sigh* Glazing takes practice too. The colors are nothing like what they'll be after firing so it's a gamble.

These next two are quite small. I painted them with a brush, as opposed to the dipping method used on the others. For this one, I was trying for the same shape as the one above... and missed.

Another dinky little bowl...

I'm actually happiest with the glazing on this one. It turned out very even and the colors are good too.

And with the flash on the camera. The color isn't as orange as it looks here.

So, I'll go in on Friday before I head to Ohio for Easter to trim the ones I made today. Hopefully they'll fire the other ones soon and I can bring them home as well. We'll see how well the membership goes. The class was good 'cause it got me out of the office at a reasonable hour at least once a week.


Island Rider said...

Congratulations! Your bowls are beautiful. There is nothing like releasing your creative side to make a difference in how we feel about life. No matter how awful things get, I always feel better after some time spent being creative. Good for you!

jennster said...

0ooooh, those are pretty!!!!! that seems like fun! i suck at making things look good. really. i can't do it. lol

Suldog said...

There's something so tremendously satisfying about holding something you actually made. So much the better if you can eat out of it! :-)