Saturday, March 15, 2008

Pottery Week Two: Coil Pots

This morning D and I once again dragged our tired selves (I swear, I still haven't adjusted to daylight savings) to our second pottery class to learn more basic clay skills. One of the students in the class (who took her first beginner class 12 years ago!) taught us how to do coil pots, which turned out to be more fun and interesting than expected. The instructor was somewhere in the studio, but with so many experienced students around you can ask questions to pretty much anyone, which is nice ("Oh, beginner? Week 2? You're doing coil pots then" and she set us up on that). The instructor came around occasionally and praised our coiling efforts. Apparently we were doing well. It was a validating morning.

Before this class I thought coiled pots were pretty ugly unless you could make the coils beautifully even, which seemed like an impossible task for a beginner. Little did I know that coiling is also a way to build up height and do a rough sketch for your piece, after which you can then refine, smooth, or carve it however you want. You roll out a base shape, roll out a little tube of clay, score the edges you want to join together with a little water for glue, and then use a pointed tool to blend the seam from inside (and outside, depending on how you want it to appear) to prevent leaking if it's going to be a functional piece. Check out our coil pot progress:

Guess whose pot is whose?

And we did this all without having purchased our clay tools! All you need is clay, a plastic knife, a tub of water, and a popsicle stick (and D used a bit of string, which kept leaving fluffy bits in mine somehow). Next week we'll continue with our coil pots. I think I'll make mine taper in at the top. After class, we stopped at the library to pick out some pottery books to give us some ideas for next time.

In other news, I finished the Shetland Triangle and immediately cast on for another one in the Alchemy Bamboo. I've got pictures of that to post soon. Oh, and I had my second PIF person sign up! Have a good weekend.


Devonshire said...

Those are looking great. Pottery is such an amazing medium. I would love to try it, but I have done the painting of the pieces but I don't think that counts. LOL

zarafa said...

sounds good, sign me up!!