Working with Clay

Lately, I've been dabbling in clay.

A woman was selling her pottery at the Grower's Market one Saturday and after I had admired her work and casually reflected on how much I would love to take a pottery class one day, she invited me to come work with her in her studio. “I give classes two evenings a week,” she said, handing me a small flyer with her address and information, “You should come.”

And so I went.

It is fascinating to work with a new creative medium. Clay can have a will of its own, but--slowly--I am learning to tame it. To mold and roll and cut slabs. To thrown carefully weighed balls on the wheel, coaxing and trimming them till they somewhat resembles level cylanders.

I am learning that glazing takes time. That the colors you choose look different wet than they do baked; they change after experiencing fire and heat (much like people do). Clay can also be quite unforgiving; the presence of a single air pocket can cause your vessel to crack in the kiln or  even explode, taking out two or three other pieces with it in a single burst.

Miraculously, nothing of mine has exploded just yet.


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