This is the first time I am trying pottery. I started this semester, at the end of January, in a class called “Pottery for Beginners” at the Arts Centre in Aberystwyth. It runs every Monday evening from 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm and is held by Laura Hughes.
A range of pottery.
Bowl in the making.
My works so far:
This vase was made using the slab method – it consists of nine parts pieced together. In the first picture you can see the vase after its first firing, bisque firing, and in the second picture it has been glazed and is ready to be fired again, glaze firing.
This bowl is the first one I made, and is made using the pinch pot method. You start of with a lump of clay, making it round and smooth before making a hole in the midle and then pinching the clay from every side until it is the shape you want it to be. This bowl is supposed to be brown on the outside and green on the inside, but it is also covered in glaze – on its way to be glaze fired.
This is my first mug made by the throwing technique, probably what most people associate with pottery, where you thrown a lump of clay (smooth and round) onto a wheel that you spin while forming the lump with both hands. It’s not as easy as it looks! First state, not been fired yet – it is now you paint it.
This bowl is made with the pinch pot method after a failed attempt to throw. Also in the first state and ready to be bisque fired.
I have also a bowl made by the coil method, but I didn’t take a picture of it since it is not very good. Using that method you make the clay into sausage shapes and build up a vase, bowl, mug (or whatever you like) out of these sausages and smooth it afterwards with damp sponges.
Luckily I still have a few classes left so I am looking forward to making more pottery. It is a nice way to spend an evening – relaxing and creative.
Last semester and up until now I have been doing a Lifelong Learning course called Museum and Gallery Education and Interpretation along with my Fine Art degree. And today we had our final task in this course; we held a workshop in the National Library of Wales! (“We” being Luciana and myself). There were different workshops held throughout the whole week by other students in our class, all of them with the theme of legends. Some of the workshops included clay, lego and costumes – we held one called Paint a Legend. It was a little bit of preparation for this, since it was two hours long and the children between five and ten years old.
Paint a Legend!
Some artworks we brought as inspiration.
Luciana with the lovely lady.
Our knight in shining armour!
First we showed a powerpoint including a story of King Arthur and pictures of legends. The story was read by two members of Aberystwyth University Medieval Re-Enactment Society, one knight and one lady, that were so kind to show up all dressed up (even with the proper underwear!) and stay during the workshop. After the powerpoint the children could chose what they wanted to do: colour-in drawing of legends or do painting in the wet room. They made some really good paintings – I was impressed!
This was not something we had to do for this course, holding the workshop was voluntary, but I am so happy that I did! It was a very good experience that I will take with me into my further education and future jobs. The children were so happy doing something creative within the local community and it was a very fun being a part of this!
Decided to try something new, so now I am making paper in the living room. So far it is going very well so hopefully me and Luciana will have a sketchbook full of homemade paper soon. I am surprised of how quick and easy it is to make and I think it is a very good idea for all the leftover paper – I love recycling!
If you want to try this yourself, you need a frame with netting of some kind, old pieces of paper, a blender, a tray, some netting, a sponge and water.
What you do:
Fill the tray with some water and put the frame with netting inside.
Shred the paper and blend it with some water (cover the paper pieces).
Pour the pulp into the frame and spread it around.
Move the frame to somewhere dry and place the netting on top of the paper pulp.
Sponge the paper pulp trough the netting and pick it up to dry.
You can dry it under paper towels by ironing it and place it under books to make it flat.
I am definitely going to make more paper – hopefully a sketchbook or two.