Middle Main

A neighborhood just a little off center



     Today I went to my first Community Clay day! I wasn't sure what to expect or what I’d be able to make out of the clay but I had a great time. I arrived around one in the afternoon and there was a line of about three other families. I was the last to arrive. I registered for the event and then sat down with the other families.

     Soon after one of the volunteers gave us a tutorial on how to use the clay and easy tutorials for beginners projects. She taught us how to make pinch pots, coils, a simple rose, and a stand for the pinch pot. She also explained how to join pieces and why it's essential to the piece coming out right. To join two pieces together you must score and slip it. To score and slip it you make hash marks on both pieces then take the slip (clay too soft to make something out of it but not wet enough to be a liquid) and put it on both pieces and press the pieces together gently to make one. This locks the pieces together and ensures there aren't any air bubbles between the two pieces. After her demonstration she showed us examples of projects she previously made and then we were off to work.

     I didn’t come in knowing what I wanted to make. I looked up some project ideas the previous night but they were too complex for me. I hadn’t worked with clay since 10th grade in ceramics class and I wasn’t too good at that. Most of my pieces came out lopsided or cracked. I played around with the clay for a while trying to make pinch pots but they came out lopsided like in 10th grade. I thought I was going to sit there for two hours and have nothing to show that I was there but then after a few tries my pinch pots didn’t come out so lopsided and they actually looked kind of good. I started with a small one and then shaped it so it looked kind of like a cave. I really liked the shape of it and then I started to make two smaller pinch pots to go on either side of the bigger one. I attached the two smaller pinch pots to the larger one and I liked the outcome. The two smaller pinch pots weren't the same size, one was a little bigger than the other, but I was happy with the overall result.  

     After I completed that part of my project I was called over to work on the wheel. One of the other volunteers worked with me to make a small vase. I wasn't too good at that either but she helped me shape the piece up at the end and it ended up looking good after all. I realized how talented a person has to be to work with the wheel. I always thought it was easy to throw clay on the wheel and start sculpting it but that was definitely not the case. It takes lots of practice and patience to get the piece just right. I hope I get more practice with the wheel in the future because the pieces come out looking magnificent.

     After the wheel I went back to my original project. I ended up adding a large cave shaped pinch pot to go around my three smaller cave shaped pinch pots. It was much harder shaping the larger piece but eventually I got it to where I liked it. My final piece will be used as a trinket holder. The two smaller sections can probably hold 2-3 rings each and the middle section maybe a pair of earbuds. The larger section can hold more since it kind of wraps around the three smaller ones.

     Overall I loved my experience and I want to get back into using clay since I did kind of miss it. I liked this clay day because I was able to make what I wanted. In my ceramics class at school I had to make specific projects. I would definitely recommend going to community clay day and I can't wait until I got next month to glaze my art.  




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