No, I don’t mean like a magazine, I mean that this semester I was striving to visit the ceramics studio at least once a week and do something there. What I managed to achieve is a good collection of bowls, plates, and tumblers, related to my visit to Ireland. #itdoesntstop
It’s a really good story!
I came back from Ireland at the very end of June, and I took a week off after that to restore and finish some leftover homework. Part of the work load included in my 9 credits in Ireland was an independent study. So I spent the whole of July thinking about what I could do for this independent study that was inspired by my experience in Ireland. At the beginning of August, I went to the ceramics studio and I begged a very helpful grad student to assist me in my efforts. The first step was making clay. I had never made clay before… I thought they just dug it up out of the ground. Recently I found out that’s where the term “pot hole” comes from. Apparently those potters went and dug up their clay in the street and left these holes… but I digress.
With a garbage can full of freshly made terracotta clay, cone 04, beautiful color, I started making these large heavy bowls. Since at the time I was still into the whole consciousness kick, I figured making open minds in clay was the way to go. I made 9 of them. They were all the same size, decorated with line drawings in white slip. When my instructor saw what I had done, she shook her head and asked me where my center was, but my work was not in vain. With the independent study out of the way, I still had half a garbage can full of clay so I decided to learn how to throw on the wheel. I’ve always wanted to learn since I saw the beautiful pottery summer sale in my home town. That’s another great story.
This guy in the ceramics studio was there one day, and when I asked out loud to learn how to throw, he took it upon himself to teach me. With a couple of demos and lots of watching him do it (throwing is mesmerizing) I got the hang of it. Following his directions, I threw 5 cups that same day and cut them open in half to see what the wall profile looked like. That exercise certainly helped with not getting too attached to what I was making. That saved me a lot of grief on those days when the clay would just not cooperate.
The semester started and the ceramics students made work that simply looked stunning. There was so much good stuff to try to imitate! I got into making really thin tableware, so thin you barely felt it when you held it up. I was told my wares would have a short lifespan because of their thinness, but hey, I’m using them now and I’m making more. It’s cool. The next ones will be better.