Monday, November 8, 2010

Artists and Pottery

The next time you pass a potter’s shop….please stop and pay tribute! I say this because I am finding out just how difficult it is to be a potter... to fashion a vase, a plate or a bowl with  artistic flair (one you want to take home and display as a treasure) requires not only vision but an enormous amount of talent and patience!

My daughter registered me to participate with her in an evening pottery course. Now let me say from the outset……pottery is not exactly “my thing”. However it just gave my daughter such pleasure to have me doing this ‘mother-daughter’ activity, how could I disappoint that grinning face and say ‘no thanks’!

Oh my, what an ordeal! My clothing is covered with mud, mud in my hair, on my face, on my shoes, on my backpack and all tools! My art apron is so caked it cannot be redeemed.

We started off by rolling out a slab of clay then wrapping around a cylinder, fashioning a handle of some sort…and after a couple firings….voila my ‘pencil holders’. I managed to pawn one off on my kindly granddaughter who is actually using as a mug, bless her heart!

So….three left, rolled with a rolling pin, three cylinders that will make great pencil holders if one can bear to look at them.

And then….a pinch pot; for this you start with a round ball of clay and pinch with fingers into a bowl - easy you,no....there are only certain fingers you use and in a certain manner!  Don't ask me which - I've forgotten!   And a rolled slab bowl and a coil bowl! Oh, and there is a special technique for rolling a coil as well!  Have you ever passed a yard sale and there’s a ‘Free – Take Me’ box on the curb. That is where these will end their bitter fate; I was going to take them to a charitable operated store but have decided the donation of the items seen here would not at all be a charitable act!.

And that’s not all….there is more to come! Yes, oh yes, I have progressed to ‘throwing’ … “things” on the potter’s wheel!   And they are indeed very strange "things".  They are in a kiln right now doing their thing.  I threw one such 'thing' while the girl next to me made five beautiful bowls in half the time.  And she did it with such expertise and calm ... AND  all her clay stayed on the wheel whereas I even managed to spatter the person across from me; she had to wipe my clay off her forehead!

To add insult to injury the instructor suggested I might want to try one of these finished models again….that is if I was concerned about my final mark. WHAT! You mean I am to be MARKED for this effort …. I’m only here enjoying the ear-to-ear smile and shining happy eyes of my daughter!

So my salute to all potters…..turning out a vase, a bowl or whatever is not easy. It is time consuming, exacting, and definitely requires a level of concentration and patience I do not possess!  I'd rather get a haircut and that's not exactly one of my favourites!

Working with wood is a different you some of my woodwork tomorrow!


  1. I always think of Patrick Swazie and Demi Moore
    when I think of pottery and now you have ruined this image, Ruby! A mother and daughter was fun I am sure but not the same somehow! I like the final product! Good job!

  2. so wonderful, to feel clay, the earth, ourselves