Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Behind the Wheel: Tales of a Pottery Newbie, part 3

I quit.

There, I said it.

Tuesday night should have been our last pottery class ... but my heart hadn't been in it for a while. I went in on Monday night and collected our last few pieces, wrapped them in our clay-stained aprons, and slunk out of the community center.

I'm pleased that we took the course -- it was something I wanted to do. But as you know I didn't enjoy it much. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained, and all that. And I did make some things I like.

I was able to find most of the pinch pots I made during the off week, including the one I put colored slip on and carved... before wondering if that was "allowed". I love the way the pigeon-grey clay fires to a bright white. Still, no idea what to do with these, other than perhaps paint them as they are not glazed.

I also found my little trio of tea light holders, and was happy to note that they didn't shrink so much that a tea light wouldn't fit inside. I'll use these, for sure. 

I found Wil's last two bowls, which turned out amazing. He dipped them in red and then chameleon green, and I love the shifting colors. 

Funny that inside is more red, outside is more green.

Also odd that they turned out with more of a satin finish .... almost matte, even, rather than the high gloss of some earlier bowls. The one on the right is the same glaze, a dip of red, let dry, then a dip of chameleon green. But glossy!

And much greener on the inside.

Seriously, isn't this beautiful? I am in envy of Wil's lovely rice bowls.

"Take a Pottery Class" was one of my #101in1001 projects -- and I hope I don't sound too defeatist or disappointed, because we did make some nice things and had some fun doing it. Honest. But I'm also glad we're done. 

What to do with the leftover clay? I've read up, a bit, on firing clay in a backyard barbecue, so maybe I'll make some small little pinch pots to hold candles and see what happens with that. 

In an amusing aside with a happy ending ... on Sunday we went for a hike around Discovery Park ... and on Sunday night I discovered that my driver's license and a credit card I had foolishly stashed in a pocket had been lost. So we cancelled the Visa (which, annoyingly, we had just set up as our main bill payment method for house bills!) and I tried to figure out when I could take the time to request a replacement license. 

Then on Tuesday night I got an email from the Parks Department, hoping that I might be able to find a person with the same last name and address as was in my account, as someone had turned in a lost driver's license! How did they happen to have my email address? Because I had set up an online account with the Parks Department... so I could register online for pottery class. See? It's just clean living!


  1. The satin bowls were actually double chameleon, and I think the trick was to not wait for the glaze to dry between dips, and not waiting for them to dry enough to smooth off.


  2. It's a shame you were left with such an aftertaste of lack of direction (I remember wanting piano lessons as a kid and being completely ignored by the teacher while he was taking their money and I felt I'd do more progress on my own as a 6 year old)

    I think the pottery you made is absolutely lovely and I reckon if you enjoyed the process you're better of finding out how to do it at home, and maybe find experienced potters who would give you advice on creating new things. I know you can buy small ovens for pottery for a couple hundred quid, which will probably be cheaper than classes.