Skip to main content

Adventures in Clay OR Lesson in Humility

Today was my second class of wheel thrown pottery. I have been doing hand-building for about
6 years and absolutely love the possibilities that come from taking a chunk of clay and forming it
into something pleasing. I love organic shapes which to me translate into not perfect! At least that's
what I've been telling myself for the last 6 years. "It doesn't have to be exactly square or exactly
round because it's handbuilt!" I guess that is what drew me to handbuilding rather than trying to
throw on a wheel that spins around.
New year-try new things--right? Well I signed up for a wheel class. Just jumped right in last week.
At my first class I went in with the nagging feeling that I was going to be horrible at it. I kept telling
myself that it's much harder than it looks--too much precision!
Well, I'll be darned if I didn't take to it like a duck to water. I was hooked-totally in love with the
wheel. I threw 5 bowls last Wed. And they all look like bowls! I didn't make a complete mess AT ALL. I felt quite proud of myself. Patted myself on the back even. Classmates were amazed at my success. I came home and boasted to my husband that I was a 'natural'.
Then TODAY-class #2... I go into the studio and had to trim the bottoms on the 5 beautiful bowls I made last week. Not too much of a problem but it did take some patience. I couldn't
wait to throw a blob of clay down on the wheel and go at it. Only this time I totally screwed up!
I destroyed my first bowl right away. Then my 2nd and 3rd attempt wasn't alot better. Trashed
those and grabbed a 4th mound of clay determined to get it right. After much embarassment,
a little swearing and ALOT of patience I got a bowl right. I went on to make another that was
also pretty good. Then came another disaster. I was able to create one more bowl before finally
giving in and coming home.
I guess my point of this endless chatter is... my attitude last week going into class was that it was
going to be a true test in patience for me and a matter of really 'feeling the clay'. I knew it was going to take me weeks before I could master this skill, if ever.
But since it came so easily to me last week I went in today with all the cockiness of a seasoned
pro, thinking I could just breeze right on through and start turning out vases and urns of all
shapes and sizes.
Alas! I learned my lesson... Patience and Practice, Practice, Practice.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

August Design Challenge-Art Headpins!

This was definitely a challenge for me... I have just recently joined the Art Jewelry Elements group and thought I would sit this art headpin challenge out. Then after returning home from a quick trip to visit relatives I figured I should just go ahead and jump right in. 
Well...I didn't have time to order some of the lovely glass or ceramic headpins that some of my fellow AJE members create so I decide to just make my own.
So what do I make? How about polymer clay?  I haven't played with it in years, but what the heck, let's try it.  When I went to my stash the only colors I happen to have are black and purple. Hmmm-Ok, I can make it work.  Used a bit of Pearl-Ex powders on the clay before cooking and here they are.
 I thought it was too much Pearl Ex, so I sanded them. Then they were too blah, so I added dabs of gold ink here and there. (sorry I forgot to take photos after the sanding and dabbing of ink)
I attempted to go for something fun & funky and a little bit o…

AJE September Tree Challenge Reveal

The theme challenge of the month over at Art Jewelry Elements was 'trees'.  I was delighted that Caroline chose trees for the month of September. Trees happen to pop up quite often in my work.
I also happen to take a LOT of pictures of trees. They are a constant source of inspiration.
What's not to like about trees? They are beautiful during every season. In fact, I think during winter they might just be at their most beautiful.
If you read my last post, you saw that I ordered some fabulous jewelry elements from blueberribeads.
The first thing I made with trees in mind were these cute little earrings using the gingko leaf headpins. I paired them with Czech glass beads and some copper washers that I distressed and aged. Can't wait to wear these!!
                                                Trees and leaves and acorns-oh my!!

The next tree piece I created was the necklace (above left & below) using a gorgeous porcelain tree pendant made by Caroline over at bluebe…

Art Elements Component of the Month

I just love the team over at Art Elements!! Since joining I have been inspired to produce WAY more work than I would ever have created 'alone'. It really does take a village for me to get creative and work in my studio!
Every month there is a theme or a component of the month challenge at Art Elements.
Sugar skulls were the component of the month for October and was hosted by Jennifer Cameron. Jen creates beautiful lampwork glass beads and headpins. Fittingly, for October she created glass sugar skulls and distributed them amongst the group.  I also received the wonderful antique key with the glass bead on the end:-)
As soon as my sugar skull arrived I knew exactly what I wanted to create. (haha)
I happened to be working on the caged trinkets tutorial for the AE blog when the skull came so I had wire weaving on my mind. I cut some pieces of wire, flattened the ends into paddle shapes and twined thinner wire around the padddles. I ended up with a flat woven piece that fanned ou…