Over the past couple of months, Mr M and I have been attending a 6 week beginner wheel pottery class at Higher Fire Clayspace and Gallery in San Jose. This was mainly sparked by watching the Great Pottery Throw Down and thinking that it looked like fun, and as Mr M also thought so, I leaped at the opportunity to get him involved in something creative!
The course covered how to throw basic shapes on the wheel, like cups and mugs and bowls, how to pull handles, trim the thrown pieces, make kind of cheating plates by rolling slabs and modifying them, and of course firing and glazing them all!
These are what I like to call our random assortment of vessels. In varying shapes and sizes, they were mainly made as an exercise in practicing pulling up straight sides….. my sides were not all that straight, and then we also have a couple in there that have cookies of shame still attached (we place them in the kiln on small pieces of fired clay, so if they drip glaze in the kiln they drip on those rather than the kiln shelves). Both Mr M and I had 1 shame cookie each, which is not bad going I guess for absolute beginners!
Our handled vessels! Ugly mugs and a kind of tea cup sized thing. A couple of friends of ours are visiting at the moment and Jim quite liked my ugly mug (top right), so I have gifted it to him!
Cheating plates. For these guys we used the slab rollers to roll large flat bit of clay, cut circles around the same size as the wooden bats for the wheel, imprinted them with patterns, then modified the edges on the wheel to make them more plate like.
“Push Plates” – Same as for the plates, we used slabs of clay, cut them into rectangles, imprinted them, then pushed them down into foam using a wooden block to shape them.
Cat Bowls! Mr M made these for our hairy babies. They weren’t originally intended to end up as cat bowls, one was an accident while trying to make something else, but then of course he had to make another! The colouring is a nod to the hairy babies themselves, Marcie is black and Linux is white with black splodges!
All in all we did at least improve a little over our 6 weeks, but it would have been better if we had had more time to practice (we have been busy with visitors and skiing etc. so hadn’t been taking advantage of going in between classes to get better). All of the items are whole and intact – no cracks or holes! Wooooo!
We are currently trying to decide whether to sign up for another class, as I did enjoy having a night off from study to play with clay and do something fun, especially as it was something we could do together!
I also made a slightly smaller plate, and put it to good use this morning having friends over for brunch at home:
Perfectly functional and blog worthy!
P.S. Here you go Jeanette! Now you are up to date 😉