A Year Of Pottery

Well I kept thinking all year I would make a post about my pottery projects and I never got around to it. Now is the time. I started pottery class last September. It’s an adult class at my local community college. I had no idea how much I would love my class and the struggles I would have with pottery.

I have been a natural at most every craft type thing I try…..I say that kind of loosely……because sewing didn’t really come that easy for me either. I had a natural eye for color & a picked up long-arming really easily. But the sewing wasn’t easy for me at all….many tears and times with my seam ripper.  But somehow somewhere something eventually clicked and that part came with perseverance.

Pottery is the same. I really love the finished products. I love that you take a lump of dirt (clay) and turn it into something useful and beautiful. I love that it is grounded. I love that all of our ancestors used pottery and that it has history. Just like quilts(blankets). All of that gives me a sense of “roots.”

I however am good at decorating my projects….and it’s honestly my favorite part. I love slab work because it’s something I can accomplish. The wheel and I on the other hand have a love hate relationship. I am utterly convinced it’s because I simply don’t have the time to master it. I have 2 hours once a week to master the wheel. It’s enough time to feel like I can get something decent at the end of my session….and then forget everything for a week in between.   I really want to invest in my own wheel and kiln. I simply don’t have the room for that currently. So it has to wait. I am fine with that….but I will accomplish this task of conquering the wheel. for sure.

There is so much that goes into one piece of pottery it’s pretty time consuming and many steps. I think one of the things I love about it is the journey. Seriously. Sometimes with quilting …I take it for granted because I have been doing it so long. When you form the piece of pottery..there is a process to drying it before you can fire it. Then after it’s fired for the first time you glaze it..then fire it again. You just never know how it’s going to turn out in each stage. Your finished piece is like you have seen it for the first time…because it’s always a surprise.

I took some pictures of a few of my pieces….not all of them. For one…I have given a few away. But also because well…..they are scattered around the house…but I did get pics of my very favorite pieces.

Here is my very first pinch pot:

IMG_1998In our first session our instructor teaches basic pinch pot techniques, then coils. Then we learn slab work and molding ect. Then she teaches us the wheel. after we learn the basics then we get to just work on whatever we want with her help & guidance.

So my first slab vase. This is one of my very favorite pieces that I have made. I did the swirly carving on it. IMG_1999 IMG_2000During the first session I didn’t really get to know any that well…I am usually pretty quiet when I first get into a class or new surroundings. But I Did sit next to a lady Named Fran in my first class.  We kind of became partners. Fran is a really sweet lady. She is a mother & grandmother to many ->I think. She is retired but still works full time at the high school. LOL I will probably be the same way. So she was just very open & shared freely. Always has a kind word for others and helpful. So we hit it off immediately.

I would slowly but surely get to know the names of the other gals & a few guys in my class.

There was a night in the 2nd quarter of class when there was a discussion going on…and I really hesitated to add my personal perspective…it was about drug addict parents ect. As many of you know I have so much to say on this subject. So I just freely opened up and shared part of my testimony. Well it was heartwarming. I had let myself become vulnerable in a classroom full of people who didn’t know me…and well it really made my experience with these people so much richer from that point on. I love my class and my instructor. I think my instructor is a “kindred spirit.” ( How I love Anne of Green Gables…..she made it so easy for me to describe these people in my life). I miss class when I can’t go..mainly because I miss the people…but I do also miss the creative outlet. I love that I get to be there with no deadlines or pressure. I can spend 5 weeks on one thing if I want. I Don’t have to impress anyone..and nothing has to be perfect. In all actuality my favorite things are the imperfect ones. It shows character.

But of course I have always been that way. 🙂

So I made quite a few platters in class. Not that I need many platters…..but I like them because they provide lots of space for me to carve in beautiful designs. :)I am not exactly sure how many platters one needs…..or can possibly use. But I guess my kids can fight over them when I am dead. LOL.

IMG_1992So my most favorite platter is this one with all of the quilting designs. I purposely wanted a vintage look. So I would paint on the glaze..then wipe it off ect. I was a bit nervous on how it would turn out…when it was finished ->I fell in love. It’s exactly what I wanted. It it my most favorite piece to date. I also made that rectangle shaped bowl…..it’s good for a table or something to catch keys..hold fruit ect.

I have decided i am kind of  fan of glossy glazes….I have been trying a few different ones…so I might put a clear glaze on that bowl to see if I like the glaze a bit better. I am undecided.

Here are my last two platters:

IMG_1990I love the simplicity in this one. I was fighting myself every step of the way to not add anything “more” to it. and I am glad I held out. It’s simple & elegant.

This next one was fun:

IMG_1991I wanted to work with some coils and just have some fun. This would be good on a vanity or something. I used an iron oxide on this with a clear glaze….I was unsure how it would turn out….I like it. But I wonder if I would like the shabby chic feel like that was on my favorite platter a bit better? I might make another and experiment again.

I also made this casserole dish:

IMG_1997Some of the glazes got mixed up. I thought i was paining it green. I am not a fan of blue so much…..and a blue fern doesn’t really go. But it’s functional. I know it might seem weird that I wouldn’t know the color when I was painting it on…but if you aren’t familiar with pottery glazes..they don’t look anything like the finished glaze before they are fired.

These are some projects I made on the wheel:

IMG_1993My first mug…it’s huge and pretty perfect. You might notice that they way I glaze my pieces is very streaked and uneven. I really like that imperfect look. I think it bothers a few people in my class…LOL. They try really hard to get everything evenly coated & perfect. I put it on evenly then wipe parts away because I like the distressed uneven look. It looks home made.

IMG_1994I also did some trading in class. If a person will make me a bowl on the wheel I will carve designs in a piece for them. 🙂

So one of the gals made me this bowl…so I could keep it and decorate how I wanted….:)

IMG_1995 IMG_1996

So those a few of my pieces from pottery. I really love my class…mostly the people. I will for sure be going back…for the next quarter..it’s completely worth it.

I would encourage my quilting friends to try a class in their local area……as you can see I am taking my quilting designs into pottery and it’s very fulfilling. It’s stretches me. It’s good to grow and expand. Gets you thinking and finding joy in more things.

Many blessings to all of you!






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