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Claydate 🏺🐸 👻
A pinch and a turn
Ever since the blockbuster movie Ghost came out, many people dreamt of sitting at a pottery wheel with the Righteous Brothers' cover of “Unchained Melody” playing in the background. (If you aren’t sure what I’m talking about, find and watch this movie from 1990).
I’ve tried modeling clay many times but never had the experience of sitting at a pottery wheel (technically a potter's lathe) but I had always wanted to try. A local pottery studio near me offers “Claydates” for couples to spend a few hours together creating with clay, so I eagerly signed myself and my husband up.
We started the evening learning about the clay and our options, which was really a reality check for what types of projects we could hope to complete in just a few hours. We started with basic pinch pots and were encouraged to expand on our simple pots by adding additional pieces of clay. Our instructor showed us how to attach handles and more.
My “pot” collapsed so I created something quite weird - I have no idea how I came up with this - but I was really most interested in the time we would get to spend at the wheel.
Once at the wheel, I learned how to throw my clay slab, control the wheel, smooth the edges, finish it, and take it off the wheel. I quickly learned why handmade pottery costs more than many people think it should. This was hard! We were given two tries at the wheel with no guarantee that we would be successful. I ended up with two low bowls, one much more uneven than the other.
One of the benefits of dabbling in crafts like this is that it gives an appreciation for what is truly involved to make something beautiful. When you have a chance to try something so specialized, it is much easier to understand why so many items at arts and crafts fairs are priced like they are. In fact, many items are probably even priced much lower than they should be.
I would definitely try this Dabble again. Our time at the studio was over in just a few hours so we did not go through the steps of glazing and firing and only had to return a few weeks later to pick up our finished products. If I try pottery again, I would take a multi-session class where I could work on the project from start to finish. Additionally, since I have at least a little idea of how this works now, I would hope my future final project will be something I’ll be proud of.
Are you a potter? Do you want to try this?
Kitsugi (because it can involve pottery)
Glassblowing (because it also involves “firing” plus it is also much harder than it looks)
Make a pinch pot!
Search “Pinch Pot” on YouTube and you will find many tutorials to get you started. Also, Etsy has pottery supplies including a kit for air-dry clay pottery which is probably a good option if you won’t have a place to fire your creation.
Here is another resource - a great article about making a pinch pot without a kiln. Find it here.