Oct 31 B
On a happier note, I started my clay class. I mentioned in my earlier writing that I’m really not familiar with it as a medium and so wanted to try it.
Always things are multifold.
I am not experienced – back in my undergrad (1996-ish) my intro to sculpture class had a couple projects we did in clay but mostly we played around without much guidance. I haven’t touched it since other than to do very simple projects with my 6-8 year old art classes. The art centre sees me taking this class as professional development (so it’s free!), it gives me the liberty of being a student, and it increases the help I can give my students. Triple win.
So far, I got one ‘flower’ pinch pot made before we left for the funeral and last Friday I took the afternoon and managed to do three projects to catch up on what I missed. A coil ‘bowl-candy dish-thingy,’ a coil Christmas tree; and a slab water pitcher. We’ll see how they turn out. I’m hoping they’ll go into the kiln this week. No photos of any of them yet, it totally slipped my mind at the time. The flower was bisque fired and it’s waiting to be glazed, possibly the most exciting part of the process for me! I love the transformations I see from the matte, pastel pieces that go into the kilns vs. the vibrant shiny works that come out.
I’m finding clay fascinating. It’s such as malleable medium but also not. Figuring how to keep the clay supple and not get cracking is definitely a very different challenge from paint and glues. It’s been a long time since I worked bigger than 5 cm in 3-D, remembering to check all around the piece to make sure the lines and shapes are pleasing is taking concentration.
I loved that almost four hours passed in the blink of an eye.
I was working in the studio with three people who have worked with clay for decades between them. I loved being able to pick their brains and immediately put their knowledge into practice. A whole body of information, tips, tricks, and suggestions that I have barely touched the surface of. A whole new vocabulary – vitrification, slip, leather hard, wedging, cones… New tools! Pin tools, scrapers, ribs, ribbon tools!
I felt calm and centred and excited and it was good.