The Pottery Studio Re-Design

As the years go by my studio seems to have gotten more and more crowded.  The intention when I renovated our old barn in 2001 was to have a space for my wheel along with two other wheels to teach a few students a week.  Since 2001 I have added three additional wheels, and another kiln.  My classes have gone from one a week with three students, to three a week, with five students in each class.  In 2010 I had an 12 x 10′ foot addition built onto the barn for a kiln room, and have managed to squeeze five wheels, and five work tables into the original barn/studio space.  There are two small loft spaces, one is filled with packing materials and my stock of urns, the other has become my photography studio. The 800 square foot studio is filled to the brim to say the least.

These last few years I felt as though I was losing “my space” to my students.  There were just too many wheels in an unplanned space, it was time to redesign, get rid of tables and wheels that were too big, get rid of chairs and purchase stools, and just streamline the space.  This included selling two of my beloved potters wheels.  One was my first wheel I bought with my babysitting money in the 12th grade, (I cried when that went out the door.) The other was a Randall kick wheel… (if you went to Alfred University you know how much that wheel means!)  That Randall was great, but just too big for a teaching studio.  I replaced these two wheels with three more Bailey Pottery Wheels, (love those wheels).

Luckily I really enjoy building things.  I have enough patience for rough carpentry, but the detail of finished wood working doesn’t interest me… maybe it’s because I am all detailed out with my pottery!

For three weeks I kept myself very busy.  I sold one 4 x 4 square work table, and built a 3 x 8′ work table.  I then took down two large shelving units. I now had a work table to work on to build two new shelving units which fit better into the space. I took apart my 3 x 3 rolling board for recycling clay which was under the 4 x 4 old table, and built a new one to fit under the new table. I put up new corner shelves for speakers, (better surround sound… I need the good music while working). I then set the five potters wheels in their new space and built four work stations between the wheels. I set my stand-up Bailey wheel under a large window and built a little side shelf for easy access to my tools. Lastly I stretched canvas on the new work table and put up some new lighting!

One of the exciting things about the new studio design is that I have my own space, separate from the student space, and, at the same time the student space is now more spacious!

putting the shelf togethernew student shelvesnew work tableNew work tableMy throwing spaceStudent Space

Blindfolded Pottery

Put on the blindfolds, turn on the potters wheels… this is “Big Girl Pottery class” (as my students call it!)

Mind you, I do not do this every class, just once a year or so.  The blindfold class is to remind them the importance of listening to the clay.  In losing our sense of sight, our sense of touch becomes heightened.  It’s a real good reminder to focus only on the way that clay feels in our hands.

It’s also a lot of fun.  Plus with a bunch of middle-aged women I of course hear the comments… like, what is this 50 Shades of Clay?  Ooh, I wish Patrick Swayze were here… is that Unchained Melody I hear?

you're not really gonna make me throw blindfolded are youHere we go blindfolded potteryyes I can make a pot without lookingBlind Pots

Spring Pottery Classes

Yes Spring is in the air!  I can’t believe a new set of ten week classes is beginning at the end of March.  So, if you’re looking to try your hand at the potter’s wheel I still have a few openings! 

Check out my website for the details. 

http://luciapottery.com/classes.php

 

Winter Classes at Lucia Pottery

The new 10 week session begins January 11th 2012!  

I posted the new classes barely two weeks ago… a little late, but I’ve been a little pre-occupied with holiday sales.  There are three openings left for Wednesday nights…  Tuesday and Thursdays are filled.

Doing what you can do, while injured

It’s that bittersweet end of summer in New England.  The nights are getting cooler, the kids begin school tomorrow, and my fall pottery classes begin next week.  I am trying to get back into full work mode after vacation at the beach last week.  I’m having a hard time of it though, since I had a little mishap at the beach while playing football with my two teenage sons.  Seems the younger of the two,  Andrew, doesn’t know his own strength… quite innocently he rammed into my chest… the result for me is one cracked rib.   My lesson… never play football with teenage boys.

So I’m letting this week go, with hopes that I will be able to throw pots next week… little pots.  This week I’m slowly finishing my bats for the studio.  All the new ones were made before vacation, with repairs to the old ones.  These past two days I set them all out in the yard for polyurethane.   I am so happy I accomplished something that really needed to get done.  I’m hoping tomorrow to be able to start photographing new work for Etsy…  another not so physical task that desperately needs to be done!

Summer Classes Posted

It’s a few short weeks before my summer classes begin.  Check my brand new website for the details!   www.luciapottery.com

Throwing Lids Off the Hump, Part 2

So, my students are telling me that cutting the lid off the hump, without going through the bottom of the lid, or cutting it un-even, is easier said than done.  Well I have to admit… this was hard for me too when I was learning.  The secret is to REALLY define the bottom with the back of your nail or a tool, keep the wire tight as can be, and keep your eye focused on one side of the wire at that defined line.