Play with clay

Oh! I almost forgot…

Does pottery class ring a bell? No? Then I didn’t ‘almost’ forget. I did actually and totally forget. A few months ago I signed up for pottery classes at the local community center and struggled a bunch with throwing clay. Actually, come to think of it, the throwing part of it was the only thing I could do with some degree of ease. Everything after that was a whole new level of complexity. The problem, I think, is the fact that watching experienced folk at the wheel makes it seem like cake walk but when it’s your turn to do it, you want to tear your hair out and run out the door screaming like the world were coming to an end and the sky were falling at that exact moment!  By the way, why do they call it “cake walk”?  I would think walking in cake would be very hard, messy and icky, no?

Anyway, getting back to the sky falling and the world ending part. Okay, fine! I might have exaggerated just a tad bit back there. Maybe it wasn’t that bad! But it definitely was close. What was crazier was that in spite of being so frustrating, it was tons of fun and I often think about going back to class come fall. I think the motivation to return comes from the fact that towards the end of the 10 weeks, my lumps of clay did survive a little longer on the wheel before they succumbed to all the shaping and pulling and strangling (yup! you read it right) and squishing that I did. When I first started, it seemed like they were cooperating and trying to meet my demands, no matter how unreasonable, but sooner or later they gave up and turned back into this way-wetter-than-before lump of squished lifeless (and featureless) heap.

Nevertheless, throw I did! By the end of 10 weeks it turns out that I’d managed, with my perseverance and the clay’s courage to stand up to my abuse, to make a few pieces that resembled some geometrical shape that belonged to this world. I also discovered that some of my ‘best’ works, if you will, were pinch pots and mold pots. So, without much ado, may I present to you these…

One of my first pinch pots

cone bowl profile

cone bowl top

A round one made on the mold

round bowl profile

round bowl top

Another pinch pot I made after finishing the initial exercise of making a V, U and wide round pinch pot. So, this was my very first original design 🙂

pineapple lid profile

pineapple lid top

This one is one of my personal favorites because of the lid…

coil pot profile

coil pot lid

And this is one of my first ones on the wheel. Don’t be impressed. This was a total fluke and it also happens to be the one I strangled (literally). It was supposed to be cylindrical but thanks to my frustration and violent tendencies, I ended up with this vase…

vase profile

vase top

and last but definitely not the least…a ‘wrap’ pot! This again, is my own design worked at the table, away from the wheel. I tried to roll out some clay that turned out to be oval in shape with one half (lengthwise) too thin to be useful.  Before you ask me how a grown adult managed to do that with a simple rolling-the-clay-task, let me gently steer you away from that thought process and tell you how I made this one. So, I cut the shoddily rolled out clay in half (lengthwise again) and wrapped it to make this. The folded over rim happened due to the fact that the edges were too thin to stand up straight and also because I am mighty talented 😉  The only half-decent usable part from the other half became the base!

wrap pot profile

wrap pot front






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