Sunday, January 17, 2010

Going to Pot

Just before the holidays, I took a traditional hand-throwing clay class with Paula Barry ( ) at the Picker Building in Nashua, just down the hall from Car0l Babineau's studio. It's hard to believe, given art education today - or even 20 years ago, that I don't ever remember working with clay in school.

About a year ago, I'd purchased 25 lb of clay, with the intention of making beads that could be used with metal clay...and now I have a pretty solid 25  lb unfired brick sitting in a plastic storage container.

I had a couple of ideas for Christmas gifts that I wanted to try my hand at with an instructor present- who could hopefully tell me how to rehydrate my 25 brick. My hands were giving me trouble the night of the class, and I found the clay more difficult to deal with than either polymer or metal clay initially, so Paula swapped out my "older" clay for some that was nice & fresh. It was somewhat easier to work with than the original batch, so I started playing.

I'd wanted to make a bunny for my cousin, Brittany, whose name I'd drawn for the family exchange - she's got a big, bad (chews on electric cords) house bunny. after several attempts at a "whole " bunny, I gave up and settled for a head.

then I moved on to beads. I decided to keep it simple - a couple of flattish beads with holes for stringing and a couple of little faces that I've been thinking of using as computer "guardians" - to keep the bugs and viruses away

and finally, with time running out, I threw together a couple of pinch pots.

Then it was time to choose the glazes we wanted added and out the door. I'd hoped that the pieces would be ready for the holidays, but alas, they weren't fired until last week.  The glazes came out a bit darker than I'd anticipated and where I'd hoped for blues, I seem to have greens.

So the bunny will be traveling south with me in February. Overall I'm happy with the results and it was an interesting experiment that I'll probably continue . I'd like to make more beads and experiment with other clays and glazes.