22 Feb

Experiments in Shaping

I finished my latest round of classes at Cahaba Clayworks. Just to finish up my last round, I found my “experiments in shaping” that had been bisque fired and finished them up. I do not know exactly what these might be used for but I think they might have a function as a pencil holder or as a weird flower vase.

Shape Shifting

This is a lovely glaze called varigated blue. I used it a lot on the finished pieces from this last go round.

09 Jan

Mud Wrestling: Round 3

Ever seen pictures of the aborigines where they are covered in white clay from head to toe? I looked at myself in the mirror after my latest pottery class and that is what I saw. White clay in my hair, on my face, halfway up my arms, and all over my clothes. A particulary messy passtime–but oh, so satisfying.

I am on my third round of pottery classes at Cahaba Clayworks. It had been a while due to a hectic fall and early winter. I thought I would forget alot of what I had learned, but it is like riding a bike (even if I am still on training wheels). Much came back and Larry (the teacher) was there to explain a couple new things. I am not sure where I am going with this round of classes but I hope to make better pieces than the last time and figure out how to see what the clay wants to become and shape it accordingly.

If you have the opportunity, get out there and get muddy.

21 Sep

Grand Opening

I went to the grand opening of Cahaba Clayworks this evening. What a fun and totally enjoyable evening. There was a great jazz band [Rhythms Band, 205/837-2269], a wine consultant [Foster Smith, 205/908-174] providing a bit of education with some wonderful affordable wines from The Vintage Wine Shoppe , and pottery glazing and firing. I tasted a great Reisling that I plan to purchase. It was so wonderful to have arts and culture going on locally. I loved seeing my teachers and a few fellow students. I will be taking more classes this fall and hopefully creating more “masterpieces”. I encourage anyone to try pottery. It is a blast!

Oh, and I bought my first piece of art. Great feeling! Any other art I own is strictly amateur–created by me.

07 Aug

Pottery: Take 2

I took another 6 weeks of “mud wrestling” classes at Cahaba Clayworks. This time my instructor was the very talented Larry Allen. He is a wonderful teacher and I learned so much even though I had to miss a few weeks for travel. I was able to make actual bowls with sloped sides, get some elevation on conical structures, and do some shaping. I also learned a better method for centering and how to manipulate the clay a bit better with my clumsy fingers. Below is a picture of my latest work, minus two pieces that have not been fired yet—but you are not missing much—they are experiments in shaping.

I plan to take another course of classes with Larry later in the fall when my travel slows down. I want to take full advantage of all six weeks.

My Pottery: Part Deux

06 Jun

Mud Wrestling

Any of you who have tried pottery on a wheel understand what I mean by “mud wrestling” when centering the clay. As a novice, this is one of the most difficult aspects of throwing pottery. I know it is learned and becomes a “felt” thing, but it is difficult at the start. And even now, on my second round of classes, I had difficulty getting the clay to center up today.

My first round of classes at Cahaba Clayworks produced some work that only a mother could be proud of and a couple other things that will probably be displayed in my house. I am taking classes again because it is fun to get up to my elbows in mud and a challenge to make it from ball of clay to finished piece of whatever kind. The challenge rises as the piece develops because there are so many ways for a piece to go wrong along the way.

Attached is an image of my first pieces. My friend Shea posted a picture of her work, so I had to post mine. We had a great time in our class and our instructor Wade Oliver was very patient and helpful–great sense of humor too. He needs it if all his students were like us.

my first pottery