Sunday, 3 March 2013

Pottery Class: Thrown into the Deep

Hehe, if you do pottery you'll spot the really bad pun, but for those of you that don't, throwing is the term used to describe the work done to a piece of clay on a potter's wheel in order to turn it into a piece of value.

Song of the day: To You by Teen Top (song introduced to me by my dance teacher~)

I thought I'd write about this as I've just started a beginner's taster course in pottery throwing, something I signed up to on a whim after meeting someone else who wanted to explore more creative things here in London. Unfortunately for me, they had to drop out of the course, but it was no big deal - I got to meet some lovely new people and still had a great day.

City Lit, the college where the course is held, is located in central London, near Covent Garden. Today, the weather was stunning, a warm blue sky with hints of spring, wonderful for setting my mood~

The teacher showed us how to prepare the clay, a technique called wedging which squeezes the air bubbles out of the clay. This involved using wire to cut a slab of clay, lifting it up and using gravity to splat it back onto the rest of the clay, a very satisfying process. When we'd squeezed all the air out of the clay and rolled it into bread bun shapes, she took us to the potter's wheel and demonstrated how to transform the ball into something amazing:

I was absolutely speechless, seeing this happen before my very eyes!

And then it was our turn...

The process itself involves taking your clay and centering it on the potter's wheel - making a small cylinder and positioning it right on the centre of the wheel. To achieve this you need really steady hands, good co-ordination and a good control of the speed of the wheel. You're supposed to use your dominant hand and place it on top of the clay, and your less dominant hand to shape the sides, but I found it easier to do it the other way. Once you have a centred piece of clay, you make a hole in the middle, pull the hole out, and then pull the sides up to form your pot.

Here are my attempts:

My first try on the wheel. It was very frustrating to make so many mistakes so I ended up discarding this one.

This is the one I was most proud of. After five or six tries, I finally made something that could pass as a Chinese tea cup...or an espresso cup. In the end, I kept two tries which I hope I will get to paint next week! 

As this is a four week course, I'll keep you guys updated on my progress! :)

Yishi xxx


  1. this looks amazing! glad you're keeping busy. i really hope you're doing well. xxx

    1. Thanks, you too - I think I know who you are and if so, take care x

    2. aha... but do you?!


★ Comments and follows make me happy~♥ ☆