Sunday, July 29, 2012

On a lighter note...

There have been a few project related things going on in my life lately and I have been having lots of fun with them.  The big one is that we bought a new home and have been moving in, making a few changes here and there, and generally just making it our own which is always fun.

Ball of Clay - 6lbs
Me throwing a large bowl
Another, more just-for-me project I've been working on is pottery.  Lisa introduced me to it in January and once I felt settled here, I decided to give it a try.  I started taking classes about a month ago.  The owner of the pottery studio, Doug, is a very nice and talented man who has a lot of knowledge, experience, and patience.  He makes it all look so easy, but in reality it takes concentration, strength, and some vision about where you want to take the clay once you get it on the wheel or slab.  So far I have been focusing on the wheel and I've made mostly vases and bowls. 

The three items I "threw" (pottery talk for making something on the wheel) in my first class are the only items that have gone through the whole process so far.  The first week I made two bowls and a vase which were created from little balls of clay, about 3 to 4 lbs each.

Lifting the clay to add size and shape
From a ball of clay to a bowl
The next week I trimmed all of them, which involves putting one item at a time on the wheel and using cutting tools to shape it.  In this, you have to understand the inside shape and follow it on the outside, then create a "foot" which is the underside that it rests on. 

After this process is complete and the item is shaped to satisfaction, it is bisque fired.  I can't tell you any more about that because I am not involved in that part. 

The next step is to glaze the item.  This gives it color.  One odd thing about the glaze is that when you put it on, there is no hint whatsoever as to the color it will actually be after it is fired, which is the final step.  The glaze is chalky in texture and the color has a muted dull look which feels and looks nothing like the finished product.  The vase below on the left is glazed but you don't see the true color until after its fired (see picture below on the right).  You can see what I mean, they look nothing alike.

Glazed but not yet fired
Finished vase
This has been a great experience for me and I look forward to making many more projects!  It is a place and activity that allows me to focus solely on the work at hand.  I love that I start out with one idea in mind and halfway through working with the clay on the wheel, I can change my plan and make something totally different.  The ability to change the shape or take it from a bowl to a vase all on a whim (well, sort of, it still takes some planning) is fun!  I even like the fact that some turn out very symmetrical while others are a bit off kilter yet somehow they all sit balanced and each have their own beauty to them.  Now I just have to find places to use or display them all in my new house!


  1. You could totally start displaying your work at local store!

  2. Have you Danny re-inacted the Ghost scene yet? ;)

  3. its beautiful! Wonderful creations for the house!