Pots (well, kinda)

I’m required to take several art credits for school, and since I’ve always wanted to try pottery, I decided to take a pottery class.

Or rather a ceramics class. Which is basically the same except this is college so there’s more talking about the history of ceramics (which is, incidentally, over 10,000 years old), which ties into archaeology and ancient cultures which are things I’ve always been interested in. So that works. Plus we get to make stuff. Stuff we can actually use.

Basically, I’m really, really enjoying this class.

I’m skipping ahead a bit with this post – there was a bit of making stuff out of coils and slabs before we got to throwing. I did make a bunch of mugs and bowls that way, some of which are interesting, but throwing is kind of where it’s at. It also looks sooo easy in videos but is incredibly frustrating.

However, here are some mugs I threw. They’re still pretty rough, and I’m not very good at handles. Glazing is one of those things where you have to hope for the best, even if you think you know what you’re doing. I really want to get a lot more technical but I’ll save that. Anyway.

Funny thing, the glaze I used on this is supposed to be blue. But it’s a kind of blue that tends to run, and that makes it change colours. At least I think that’s what I used. I even got a pretty decent pulled handle!

Ah, now this one I got the blue to do what I wanted. It ran, but it left a trail. I think I did stripes, and the blue ran over and moved things around. No complaints.

Most handles you see on mugs are done using “pulling”, which is one of those very frustrating things. With this mug I tried to do something different. I’m not absolutely sure what it was, but the top ended up looking vaguely bird-like.

After seeing how that “I don’t know what I was going for” handle turned out, I decided to try and make one that looks like a chain. It was supposed to look rusty. This is a mug that turned out OK but I messed up trimming it (which is where you take the excess clay off) but I kept it anyway.

This one’s just cute, and I think it’s the first decent pulled handle I made. This one is also that blue glaze, and I think I actually dipped it (which gives you nice clean results) rather than using a brush (which does weird things, and I prefer to do).

This one is probably one of my favourite mugs. The shape just ended up exactly the way I wanted, and I didn’t even bother putting a handle on it. When I learned that we can paint (technically it’s not paint, but…) pots before firing them for the first time, I started doing that to just about everything. This is the first mug I did that with, and the first to also get glazed and fired again. It originally had green and white stripes, and the inside was white. I put a clear glaze on, which I was hoping would keep the colours from being muted, but I like how it turned out.

This last one is actually the only one that’s actually part of an assignment for the class. We’re supposed to make a set with a theme, so I made a few that are based on a video game (it was the first thing I thought of). I actually carved that thing into it when it was bone dry. I tried to get something to come out black before but it didn’t work, so I dipped this thing in every single black glaze I could find. Which is why it’s a very dark brown with hints of purple. The orange highlights are supposed to be red. I have a bunch more similar to that, and a few with horns (yes, horns), but none of those are ready yet.

I actually made more than this, but I gave a few away. Also my camera decided it doesn’t like any of its batteries. And I’ll hopefully have more in a few weeks… the whole “patience” thing is the hardest thing about ceramics.

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