Pottery

My pottery class is officially complete. It was 8 weeks of patience trying, thumb-hurting frustration, but I did end up with some lovely pieces. And while none of them are perfect – I made them myself and they have grown on me and are a fun new addition to my home and office.

Project one 

 

Supposed to be: A big mug (half win!)

Hardest thing: learning the wheel

Place in my world: While this is not a good jumbo sized java mug it is absolutely perfect for my morning lemon water – and getting to use my handcrafted mug makes me remember to do that more often!

 

Project two

Supposed to be: A sugar bowl (nope)

Hardest thing: Making a lid. I trimmed too much off of mine so the instructor recommended adding the little handles so the lid doesn’t fall right in

Place in my world: to be decided. This little guy has not found a home, and might be the only piece not to stick around.

 

  Project three      

Supposed to be: a bowl (win! win!)

Hardest thing: Apparently a common pottery mistake when making a bowl is to actually make a plate (oops!). I managed to stay away from that, but it does have a lot of wobbles.

Place in my world: This guy is in my office as a little snack bowl!

 

 

Project four

Supposed to be: whatever we wanted to make. I was aiming for a big mug (hehehe)

Hardest thing: The last wheel class was a nightmare for me. I just kept losing it and having to cut it off or restart again and again and again. And I was using brown clay for the first time which is apparently no different, but just looks messier and must have got in my head.

Place in my world: This teeny little guy might be my favourite. It is perfectly round and smooth. And it is perfect for holding candy. Mmmm candy.

So that’s it. Unlikely I try pottery again (at least not any time soon!) but it was a fun experience and I like having things around in my everyday that I made with my own two hands.

I have other big news, but not quite ready to share it yet. Let’s just say it’s deserving of two different types of red(?!?) beer to celebrate. No filter on that shot there. I tried the delicious Flying Monkeys 12 Minutes to Destiny Hibiscus Pale Ale (middle) and then the 49 Parallel Gypsy Tear’s Ruby Ale (left and bottle) at celebratory drinks last night.  An update on that and food to come next!

Working with the wheel

I mentioned in my first creativity post that I’m taking pottery classes. It sounded like fun and who doesn’t want some nice handmade pottery goods? The only thing I didn’t consider was the skills required which ended up being a big challenge!

The key to using the wheel seems to be a balance of soft, steady, slow touch and confidence with endless patience. None of these are in my wheelhouse (pun somewhat intended ;)). I’ve always had more success in pursuits that value being fast and strong – which is why all of my figure skating routines back in the day were to very quick music and never the graceful slow tunes. I lost a number of projects to the wheel when I applied a bit too much pressure or tried to move a bit faster than I should have. Eventually in the trimming stage the instructor told me I had to remove my tool before trying to move in because I could not go slow enough.

It was a challenge for me, best explained in this clip from “Community” which I had to watch after one very unsuccessful class.

 

All said and done I finished 4 projects in my 7 classes (as long as nothing drastic happens in glazing class next week). You can see three of them in their pre-glazed state below: the small brown bowl in front, small mug behind to the left (not the gorgeous mug behind to the right which was made by the instructor – not another classmate!), and then the bigger bowl behind my mug. There’s also a small pot not shown.

 

I am very excited for glazing class – the options are so interesting and exciting. I have to get some ideas in mind so I know which colour directions I want to go for each of them. Here is the pretty wall of choices in the studio!

While it was a frustrating and difficult experience at times I’m happy I stuck with it and have some nice pieces to remember it by, but I don’t think that pottery is my final creative calling!!

Learning from the Experts

One of the first steps on my creativity journey has been to learn from others. There are so many interesting people and projects out there – why not draw upon their knowledge and see if their interests and talents align with mine. Sometimes I feel a bit like a kid at summer camp or an enthusiastic after school calendar, but what better way to find a new hobby/interest/outlet than trying activities out!

A few weeks ago I went to a terrarium workshop at Flowers Talk Tivoli. I’ve been waiting months for the beautiful local flower shop to have an event or workshop that I was able to attend. I missed out on wreaths and planters over the holidays but loved the idea of building my own terrarium. My friends and I brought some fine little dinos to make our scenes even more interesting! It was fun and I will be keeping my eyes open for future workshops while I await the day I can have my own garden!

I’ve also been to a couple of classes at Fabrications – hands down the coolest fabric shop out there! Their fabrics make you want to be good with a sewing machine (which I still am not). Below you’ll see my bunting – I also made some scarves which made their way to others as Christmas gifts. I am sure I will go back to create something else – although I wish I was at a point where I felt comfortable to go it alone without a class. Maybe after the next one! And I see they are going to start doing silk-screening… okay I’m hooked!

My current course is Pottery. I don’t have a finished project to share yet so stay tuned. I do have a nasty injury on my hand – apparently pressing down hard is meant to be on the clay not on the wheel (!!!). It has been the most challenging so far, but I have another 5 weeks to figure it out.