Thursday, May 17, 2012


Back in the fall when I was beginning my third trimester of pregnancy, and having just bought a house that was about to be renovated, I wasn't sure that taking a pottery class (or ceramics, the less utilitarian term) was a very good idea. Maybe my precious evenings should be spent organizing all our stuff, cleaning or generally fretting about the baby about to be born. Or, what the hell kind of pendant lamp could offset the ugliness of the metal railing leading upstairs that we can't afford to change just yet. Luckily, my hubs suggested I go through with it- and thank holy crap he did. Was I any good at it? Meh. Not really. I mean, the good thing is that it's hard to make a clay bowl with a hole in it, so it will be functional no matter what. Was my stuff pretty? For a beginner, it was ok. But it's a fussy medium for someone who likes more pristine results but without a lot of fuss. The best thing about a class like this is that you focus on the work. Just like my beloved cross stitch, everything else fell away for a couple hours. It's so hard for a lot of people to focus on just one thing these days, especially me, and something tactile like this that involves a little planning, a little trial and error, is God-sent.

We started doing slab work, which is clay cut from a big block with a wire, and then made into vases, bowls, boxes... I kept eyeing the wheels behind me, wanting to jump on and make round things, as I prefer them to square angles. So the instructor let us try after about 6 or 7 classes, and I lasted about 20 minutes. I then realized that if this was to be my last class before baby, I would be better off focusing on simpler slab stuff, and maybe even a little sculpture for fun, and then some other time try the wheel again. The pottery class episode of Community was a little misleading in its portrayal of the ease of use of ceramic wheels. Oh, those little blueberries!

I ended-up getting really into texturing my clay with this one old 70's afghan, which gave a very modern big floral pattern to the objects. Some of my work suffered because I dipped the pieces into the glaze too long and lost some of the detail. Oh- but glaze does kind of make everything look a lot more professional. So here are my favourite pieces. My bookshelf mushrooms, square/round bowl, "bathtub" catch-all thinger (shown at two angles) and a little box that I earmarked for our Frida, in which I keep her barettes.


Jenny said...

So awesome. Where did you take the pottery class? Not that our budget would handle that right now, but I've been wanting to do classes like that for years now... ever since high school really....

Elle Dubs said...

Central Tech. But there are people who take the class EVERY session, just for the use of the kiln. You have to sign up as soon as it opens up- I believe the Spring session filled-up in 3 hours. It was cheap as free! $220 for 10 weeks and $50 materials. But you will not find that anywhere else in the city. Failing that, the jewelry class is supposed to be awesome, too..