The Great Clay Adventure

Hello WordPress! Happy Tuesday!

I’m here and happy to share that I have officially made a piece of pottery that I am excited about. Yay!

Last night was the second class of the third session, and I spent most of it busy with stenciling and THROWING A PITCHER!! I know, who am I? My goal this session is to be better and more comfortable with the craft of throwing and I felt so good about it last night.

Let’s get into it!

I showed up to class about 15 minutes early, and I was surprised to see a few other students already there. Usually, I am the first to show up! I wanted to get a jumpstart on the girls valentines gifts in case there’d were any mishaps. Which what I found was they needed more clear glaze, and I had to glaze that spoon too. So before class officially started, I had three pieces for the kiln.

Class started off with our stenciling… Using slip or underglaze. I don’t know if anybody remembers, but I had thrown a cylinder style vase/cup. Since the last class, I was thinking about what kind of stencil to create for this piece. I didn’t wanna do anything abstract or complicated, so I chose lemons. I like lemons (being that I’m Sicilian -it’s lemons lemons everywhere), and I like to decorate my house with lemons during the Summer. So browsing online I had found a stencil image that had four different blocks of stenciled lemons. I printed and weeded the paper out on two sets of those out. Bringing extra in case anyone needed any.

The technique for paper stencils is super easy. Dampen the stencil, stick it onto your piece, then on a brush- with either underglaze or slip, brush the product over the stencil, patting gently as you go, to leave an impression of material in the stencil. Let it sit a few minutes. Peel off the stencil and voila. You have a shape on your piece.

For my piece, I chose two different colors of slip to create a lemon pattern around- so I can use other coloring techniques in the following weeks. Below is my piece drying to leather hard. I think it’s cute. We shall see as I go along.

Once I put down that piece, the class opted to learn how to pull handles next week. This is a technique where you literally pull a handle from a glob of clay on your piece (while it is attached at one end). It is daunting but I have always wanted to try it myself. So that left me with needing to throw a piece of pottery that needs a handle. 😊

Now, I watched a TON of videos over the week to prep myself to get more comfortable with throwing. I noticed a few things… People often stop the wheel or let go of their pieces and their pieces don’t flop to the ground which is something I’m always fearful of. 😂. I took what I watched, and the techniques that the instructor, Emily, showed us last week, where she really commanded the clay on that wheel… I mean you guys, Emily was like a bull over her piece. But guess what? IT FRIGGIN WORKED FOR ME!

I decided to choose the harder clay last night. Usually I choose the softer clay (wetter) which is easy to move but last night, I just, I don’t know. I just wanted to use the other clay. It’s tough as it’s drier than the other but with water at hand .. it worked out for me really well.

I had no fear. I sat on my bench. I got the clay rolled into a cone. Chucked it on the wheel, and I just didn’t listen to the fear creeping in. I decided to recall some of the things I watched, how hands are supposed to work together and before you knew it, I had a vase shape. Then I moved up to a bottle neck to a fanned opening. Then I decided to make it a mini pitcher -like for sangria, of course! 😂 I did get fearful to make it bigger. Soooo.

As I was working the clay, I liked the little quirky opening at the top. That shape is intentional. I left it to dry to leather hard so I can re-shape the top when I come in next week …then I will be able to pull that handle. Hopefully!

The best part of making this quirky piece, is that one of the other long haul students saw it and also wanted to make a pitcher w that same fanned opening. That was a huge compliment!

After I finished that piece, there was only 20 minutes left to the class, I couldn’t make anything else, at my speed. Haha. So the instructor showed us how to to trim the bottoms of bowls, etc.

It was a gratifying experience…FINALLY.

I don’t know what happened to Emily since the first session. I literally love that she has changed to teaching us actual technique. This is what I needed from the start, but I guess she was used to folks just taking a one-and-done session.

But then I came along and rallied some troops who want to LEARN. Hahah

She seems happier too. Jussayin. My vibe is infectious. 😜

Well, that’s my post for today. I am super happy with how this class has evolved for me this session. My fears are quieting, a little. I truly hope this goodness keeps up. I want to throw stuff that I can actually show off one day and not hide in my upper cabinet. Haha.

Thank you for stopping by and supporting me. It’s always appreciated and does have a positive effect. 😊 I hope you have a great rest of your week!

til next post. xoxo

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