Ceramics on the Wheel
For the last seven weeks, I've been taking pottery on the wheel at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center here in Atlanta, Georgia. I started off last semester taking an introductory handbuilding class, and that was a fantastic introduction to ceramics and methods. But this summer, I really wanted to try my hand at the wheel and now I'm completely addicted. So, the genesis of ceramics as a hobby is rooted in two places: 1) my husband's stepmother has been doing it for years and has graciously gifted us with so many bowls that she made at the same program and 2) I was at a job that wasn't really giving me the fast-paced creative outlet that I needed, so I sought out an evening arts program to jog that creative part of my brain.
The first day, I was so incredibly frustrated. I spent three hours at the studio and left with clay all over myself, all over the wheel and my shoes, but nothing tangible to show for it. Frustrated but determined to get better, I went in over the weekend and spent five hours practicing and practicing.
Bam. I left having formed 12 bowls, some a little more derpy than others but all vessels of some type. I also brought in an apron from the Baltimore Zoo that I bought on a field trip when I was 10 and have had ever since. Helps to cut down on the dirty laundry.
Somewhat satisfied with what I made, I trimmed some of the bases of the "good ones" the following class session and glazed them as a gift for some friends as a moving gift. Notice the lopsided base on the top left. Not bad for a first try but still a little annoying.
And then I followed up with making this next set as a gift for some friends who were so completely altruistic, helpful and supportive while getting ready for the wedding. It's a small token but the least I could do to say thank you. I'm a little happier with these because I prefer the more organic looking matte Mamo glaze (below) as opposed to the shiny crackle of the Blue Celadon (above).
The summer session ends this week and I spent all of Friday night and most of Saturday afternoon in the studio finishing up six larger bowls that I'll keep for our family. I carved out the bottom of one by accident so that'll turn into a succulent planter, but overall I'm feeling quite proud of my progress. Although I recognize that I have a LONG way to go before I would ever consider myself to be a proper potter, it's a challenge I'm looking forward to taking on.