Hello back again!
It was great to see you again or meet you for the first time. I hope that you will enjoy getting your hands muddy this term and will join me again next year!
This week we started by making the simple cylinder vessel for the Colourful Cups to give away to the City Mission for Christmas this year. What a great job! Everybody made a beautiful tumbler and I will pop them into the kiln today so that they are ready for decorating next week. Maybe some spots and stripes could be the way to go…I have always really liked the English pottery of Emma Bridgewater with her spotty pots. They are so simple yet classic. She uses a sponge stamp to apply the underglaze colours to the surface of a bisqued cup and then glazes in a clear glaze. The hearts and spots are lovely. You can make simple stamps using sponge dishcloths.
Other easy and lovely wee gifties can be made from cylinder too. Like Tea lights and tappas dishes. You can emboss the clay with texture from lace, wall paper, fabric or anything else that might leave an impression. You can also cut out shapes and stick them to the cylinder to make three dimensional shadows. I brought along a pair of tea lights to class with me this week that had holes in them so that the light could come out and make lovely shadow patterns. If you make a short wide cylinder you can use these as small dishes, team up with a spoon and hey presto you have a tappas dish or an irresistible icecram bowl! If you can’t find a cylinder that takes your fancy you can make a pattern for the shape of the bottom that you like out of paper and then roll out some clay to make a clay wall to fit the paper pattern, then let it harden up a little before adding a base to it the same way as we did for the Colourful Cups. You just have to be a bit more nimble because there is no cardboard tube inside to help support the wall. You can make amazing oval, egg, pool shaped bowls this way. If you wait a little bit longer you can take some holes out of the bottom and add some feet for a fantastic plant pot. Some of you will have made whale tale glaze samples before. If you up size these and add a loop or hole at the back they can be glazed and gifted with some micro seed to make a hanging inside kitchen garden!
Other popular pressies are bowls. Some of you are getting along with the wheel quite nicely. But others of you haven’t had a go or the wheel likes to misbehave in your company. Don’t despair! If you can manage to make a bowl that has a nice inside shape but then you forget to turn it, or its bottom is thin/thick or it is decidedly wobbly…make the decision to bisque it and then you can use it as a mold to make other nice shaped bowls from the internal shape. Or if you aren’t up to any wheel work there is a collection of lost bisqued bowls on the shelves waiting for your muddy little fingers! You can either try the pinch pot method or make them with a pattern. I will demonstrate both ways for you next week. This is a quick easy method to make sets of bowls that are very similar in shape…and they can be turned out quite quickly, then dried at home and brought back the next week for firing. A bit quicker than making thrown bowls on the wheel…and worth while thinking about as a good time saver. The lovely pearly shell dishes much admired in the exhibition last term were made like this!
Well, I will leave you these great ideas to consider…bring along your bits and pieces…and I will see you next week!
have a safe weekend
Tatyanna a.k.a The Busy Finch