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Pottery class: learning the wheel

My oh my. I can’t believe that I am this excited after just one lesson. I will say that pottery on the wheel is really challenging; you have to use a lot of upper body strength and be forceful with the clay, but you also have to be really gentle. It will surely take me a while to figure out the balance of it, and learn my own techniques, but already, it is totally awesome.  I can’t wait to go back to MudFire for more instruction!

Really quick, let me just say how adorable the studio is. I walked in last night and was instantly charmed. Artists were scattered around the room working on their individual projects, but engaged in friendly conversation with each other. Music was playing and there was a little lounge area and big potted plants sprinkled around. Shelves showcasing pieces of work, in all shapes and sizes, reached all the way to the ceiling.  It was warm and cozy and inviting. This place truly is a community.

My wide eyes must have alerted the staff that I was a newcomer, so I was greeted pretty quickly and assisted with the initial paperwork and then I met my instructor, Stephanie. She looked about my age but told me she had been a member of MudFire for 5 years, so I knew I was in good hands.

We went over the basics; the wheel, the tools (my good friend, Kathy gave me pottery tools as a birthday gift, so I came prepared!) and then I was given my very own 25 lb bag of clay. Wow.

She sat at the wheel and demonstrated a few key techniques…a big part of learning how to throw pottery is learning how YOU best fit the wheel, the way YOUR hands are most comfortable handling the clay, and really just getting a feel for it. She had me work with my eyes closed at times so I could really recognize the feeling I was looking for. It was SO cool.

There were moments when I felt I really wasn’t getting it, but she talked me thru it and let me find my way. And you know what? I made three bowls!! Okay, okay… she pretty much made the first one, but the other two were all me! They might be a little lopsided, but I think they are precious. I even got a nod of approval from a girl sitting nearby, “That’s your first bowl, ever? Wow.”

That totally made my night.

They have to sit for a few days to dry before I can go back in and trim them, which I plan to do next week. And, while I’m there I’ll practice throwing some more…I have a massive bag of clay to get thru!

Here are some shots from last night:

my clay!

Stephanie working the wheel

my first pot!!

e.Claire's creations!

I have a long way to go. But already, I’m intrigued and inspired and just can’t wait to get back into the studio. Stay tuned!

One Response to “Pottery class: learning the wheel”

  1. Aunt Becky Says:

    Wonderful! Looking forward to reading more about your pottery adventures! :-)

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