Play with clay

contd…

And here are a few more…

Here’s the one that was thrown, slapped, pulled, pushed, squashed, thrown again, slapped again, pulled and pushed again, after which it gave in and collapsed on itself. So, I had to behead it, let it dry out for a week or so and then cut and sandpaper it to make it look presentable. What can I say, I don’t give up that easily.  Even if it means beheading a clay pot!
And the reason I hate Raku (which is a fancy name for red coloured clay) is because the glaze doesn’t show. Who will even believe that I glazed this piece with a bright yellow and turquoise?

 

What’s more? After spending a good 1/2 an hour trying to etch something on it with a blade, I turn it over and what do I see? I have drawn a star! A STAR! Now, Ka would have come up with a better idea. But then again, I didn’t intend it to be a star. It just ended up being that!

 

This is the one that Ka painted and I took the opportunity to get her handprint on it. My! My! The little doll is growing up. And so fast!!
Another one of my pinch pots painted by ka with a huge brush, some red and white slip and a small piece of string…
These pots are proof that a human being, even a miniature one, if allowed to do what he/she loves best, will do it well.
Another one of my wrap pots. The colour is horrible, I know. This is what happens when the husband has the kid and not the car. I told him that the library closes at 9:00 and that they’ll throw him and his daughter out! He didn’t believe me. He insisted (for a reason I still don’t understand) that I should keep the car. And SURPRISE! They threw them out at 9:00 and in the next 10 minutes, I so wanted to murder the person who came up with the idea of a cell phone!! Anyway, I dunked the piece in white glaze instead of clear and this is what I got. A perfectly beautiful ugly little pen holder. What’s more? Somebody broke it after firing it and now it has a big crack where I glued the pieces together.

 

And here’s my best piece. Best because it was thrown on the wheel and it survived. It turned out just fine. Everything went well. Just as it should have for the rest of them but didn’t. And I am pretty sure it was just fluke. Couldn’t be that I finally got the hang of it. Somehow, I just don’t buy that story 🙂
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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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Play with clay

No! I haven’t.

Like I said, I haven’t finished Ka’s calendar. I haven’t even tried making those hawaiian skirt type earrings with fancy paper or fabric. Instead, I have been spending my time reading books authored by Dr. Maria Montessori, and designing earrings and designing clay artifacts. I know none of these have anything to do with each other, but that’s me!

So after having sketched some designs for some earrings, I went out and bought a clay conditioning machine and some clay (all were on sale…that is my very own special way of justifying it :)). And here are my very first pair of clay earrings, with many many more to come…

And I have signed myself up to finish Ka’s Calendar before the start of next week. And knit a pair of socks for her without a pattern to follow. And try some more earrings. And try a fair isle pattern of my own. And try and throw some clay on the wheel and get something, just anything, that looks better than the lump of mud I started off with.

I am doing it again ain’t I? Let me draw the line here, take a deep breath and stop flitting and fluttering around. My only goal for this week will be to finish the Calendar. And now let me go and leave notes for myself on the fridge door and bedroom wall and bathroom mirror and laptop and PC and iphone and in the todo list by my bed…