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?
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.
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.
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!
It’s a few short weeks before my summer classes begin. Check my brand new website for the details! www.luciapottery.com
One of the harder things for students to learn is throwing a lid off the hump. For you non potter’s out there, this means, throwing a small lid, cup, or bowl off a larger piece of clay. This works very well because you can thrown many repetitive pieces without having to wedge each piece individually. Below I am teaching, “Big Girl Pottery Class” how to throw a lid with a flange.
The below photo I am using back of my fingernail to create a straight line to place the wire tool. The cut comes out even if you keep your eye on one side of the line.
Big Girl Pottery class (AKA advanced wheel throwing) learned all about mug handles last night. Their assignment was to make practice mugs and put a bunch of handles on them until they get it right! Handles are one of those things that pottery students just don’t want to spend much time on. They will spend hours and hours perfecting forms on the wheel, but then it comes to making and attaching handles they give it an hour, and say ok what’s next!
The pics below show the five different types of handles on one mug. The one or two finger handle, and the three or four finger. The fatty handle, the skinny, and the dog bone. Each student checked out the comfort levels of each one. We all agree it’s a personal thing; it really depends on the size of your hand. When I first made mugs they were always on the smaller side, with a one or two finger handle, because that’s what I prefer. Customers were always asking for bigger mugs so I started making them, and happy I did. It opened up a whole new mug form to me, and I began to like four finger mugs!
My cupboard is filled with many mugs from other potters (you can see a Molly Cantor chicken mug, on front table, and a Lindsay Rodgers mug on the back table).
This one is my favorite, with a fatty handle that I made… it usually holds Earl Grey tea on the mornings I don’t have Chai in a Mark Shapiro four finger mug!
I’ve updated my class and events pages… check them out to see what’s new!
On Thursday nights my teaching methods change a bit. Instead of focusing on the basics of wheel throwing with beginner students, I focus more on how to help a student execute their ideas. First off , they are all required to have a sketchbook… to draw their ideas, or to write their ideas. To write what glazes they used, immediately, so as not to forget when that pot comes out of the kiln, and it’s gorgeous, and you want to be able to duplicate it! We talk about form and function. How do you make a spout fit the form of the teapot, look good, and actually work! I get questions that I love to answer, like, ” how do I make this bowl look softer”. We get into complexities of glazing… talking about whether or not that particular glaze is distracting from the form or enhancing the form. And then there is the ever challenging technical aspect of throwing, that all advanced students want to accomplish… making a 12″ cylinder with 4 lbs of clay.
Two Mugs by Gayle
Soy Ewer by Dawn F.
Pitcher by Dawn F.