My pottery skills are improving slowly but surely and this time around my dad asked me to make him a scented wax dispenser, this was definitely a challenge but thanks to my very flexible and helpful teacher I was able to make two pieces that I'm really proud of.
© Ammara Cokar 2017
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but the first round of beginner's pottery wheel classes that I took turned out to be a complete fail because, by the last class, I couldn't even do what we were taught in the first 20 minutes of instruction on day one. It's amazing how much a little more practice, along with the guidance of a good teacher can make all the difference in the world.
I made this set of three bowls which are designed to nest neatly into one another. The floral designs are carved onto them. I applied slip onto each bowl for the first firing and then glazed hem for the second in order to get the flowers to show up in a different color from the rest of the bowl.
I've gotten quite a bit better at playing with the pottery wheel; however, I need to work on making my items much thinner and lighter as they are still on the heavy side. Other than that, making clay things has become less frustrating and more enjoyable now. I just need to find the time to sign up for another round of classes soon.
I tried making a few kitchen items on the wheel. This first one is a cup... I didn't realize how much the pottery actually shrinks when it goes through the fire twice. The first time for the bisque fire and then again after that the items are glazed and fired again. The gold design you see on the pot is actually a stain that was done over-top the glaze.
This second item was meant to be a creamer- the clay dried a little too much for me to be able to get a handle onto it though so it's a creamer without a handle. I really like how the color of the creamer turned out though.
Here are a few more pieces of pottery that I made, this time I tried carving out designs into the clay before firing it. This first piece is now being used as a pencil holder.
The carving effect didn't turn out as nicely as I would have liked... so, I will have to try another technique with the glazing when I attempt this again. You can see only a faint shadow of the henna pattern that I attempted to carve into this piece. I want the carvings to show up more clearly.
I use this blue piece to hold some of my makeup brushes. I am going to try and attempt to make larger pieces now because everything that I've made so far basically fits in the palm of my hand.
I didn't realize there were so many steps involved in making pots until I started making some of my own. Throwing on the wheel and creating some pieces myself has given me a much deeper appreciation for this art form and admiration for people who do this on a continuous basis.
The three little pots you see below were thrown on the wheel, dried for a few weeks to leather-like hardness before trimming, and then I covered them in a layer of slip before firing them in the kiln. I will have to glaze these pots and fire them again one last time before they're finally complete.
For the small pots below I'm trying out a new technique, I'm adding little flowers and leaves which I made using some cute little molds. You first have to roll out a bit of clay onto the mold and then attach it to the pot using slip.
Once the designs are attached they look like this.
I can't wait to see how these pieces turn out.
So, I took a pottery class a little while ago, and this was my very first attempt at the pottery wheel. I've been meaning to attempt the wheel for over a decade now but I never managed to get around to it. I've finally had the chance/time to try the wheel out and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I think that, because I do so many different artsy craftsy things, I expected myself to be able to pick up on pottery fairly quickly, but I couldn't have been more wrong. For me, it was much harder than the instructor made it look. I think it took me 4 whole 3-hour long classes to semi-get what the instructor showed us in the first 20 minutes.
The first few pieces turned outquite lopsided and crooked but I'd like to think that these imperfections give them character. This first little piece I use to hold my keys in.
If anything art related can teach me a bit of patience I think that it would have to be throwing on the wheel. The fine balance of the speed of the wheel, the amount of pressure you apply to the clay, the amount of water, how fast/slow you touch and stop touching the clay requires a LOT of patience. More than a few times I got frustrated and broke whatever I was trying to make. Many times the bowl or vase would get thrown off center or just collapse altogether or a piece that was meant to be a cup would magically turn into a bowl and vice versa. I think by the end of the 22 hours of class sessions I was finally starting to get the hang of it though.
I will most definitely be taking another pottery class, actually I will be taking this exact same beginners class all over again before moving on to a higher level. Now that I have a better grasp on some techniques, I just need to think of what I'd actually like to make instead of letting the clay turn into whatever it turns in to on it's own.
Arts & Crafts
I love making stuff. I'm constantly experimenting with new mediums and techniques and I aim to inspire you to create some things of your own as well.
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