Sunday, November 13, 2011

This week in the Studio Nov. 7th-12th

Currently I have two ongoing pottery classes that I teach in my studio. On Monday evening, I have six students: a mother and her two sons, around 8 and 10 years old. The other students in this class consist of a grandmother and her six year old twin grandkids. We met for the first time for a five week course. This is a really fun group, just the right size and ages. I'm good friends with the mother whom I met at the Winter Gift Markett a few years ago. We were crammed in so close that we had to sit nearly touching each other. I was selling my pottery and she was selling fiber arts and handiwork. We talked and talked and became instant friends. She's been a great support to my art ever since.

 For class I demonstrated the coil technique. One of the six-year-olds made a coil cup that I found delightfully creative. The other nice vase is from another class. To make these I stress the importance of scoring (scratching the clay), using just a small amount of water to moisten the pieces when attaching and also to knit the inside just to make sure the coils stay together. I had them roll coils about the diameter of a pencil. The base for both of these is bounded out from a golf-ball size piece of clay and cut with a canning jar lid.

On Tuesday I did a bisque-fire. The firing consisted of a lot of kids pottery and some things I'm working on. Here's a couple of mugs from that firing. Next I'll dip these in glaze and the design will show through and be shiny once they are glaze fired.

On Wednesday mornings I'm teaching a home-school group consisting of a family of six, plus another girl. This is another great group of kids ranging from six to twenty years old. I taught how to make pinch pots and turn them into animals. I love doing animals creatures with kids, because no matter what I teach, the kids will show me up. These two pieces were made by sisters, about 10 and 12 yrs. old.

Thursday afternoon I had a group of students come to glaze pottery they'd made a month before. This is a large--somewhat chaotic group for my small studio space, especially since the glaze buckets don't have a lot of room around them. But hey, it worked and I'll get their mugs fired and they'll have something fun. I have students roll slabs of clay using a rolling pin, decorate with stamps, and wrap around juice cans. If you do this, make sure there is paper around the cans or the clay sticks. Take the can out before it starts to dry or the mugs with crack. The base is made from golf-ball size pieces pounded down like a pancake and cut with a canning lid ring. I also have cardstock templates cut ahead that they can use as a pattern for the size. Once these mugs are glaze-fired they will be beautiful. Now the colors are dull, but not for long.

During the week I was able to work on some of my own things for Christmas sales. I made vases, bowls, frogs, honey pots, and french butter dishes. Here's some of what I made.

Hike of the Week: My cousin Megan and I hiked to the Wind Caves. This is a moderate 3.4 mile hike in Logan Canyon. Very popular. I prefer it in the fall and early summer as it can be pretty hot otherwise. Megan and I found the cool weather perfect and needed our jackets about half the time.

Besides the Winter Gift Market, I'll be focusing on work for the Paradise Holiday Art Sale on December 10th at the Paradise Town Hall from 10-4:30. More on this soon.  

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