My workspace, at 2 in the morning

So classes are out, and my first ever big-girl pottery class is done. I specify 'big-girl' because I did dabble in some pottery at two previous times in my life: one as a 10-year-old girl scout, and then I went to a pottery studio with a friend of mine once in 8th grade. So yeah, I'm totally experienced. Hehe. Anyway, I went into this class with an open mind and itchy fingers and I ended up learning a lot about myself. I learned that I love to work in a studio at 3am alongside my young ceramics professor, who blasted Type O Negative on the stereo and worked on her naked lady sculptures. I learned that getting my hands dirty every night made for dirtier clothes and more laundry, but also a really nice feeling of accomplishment.

I am not new to the world of creating with my hands, but my knitting is something almost mindless for me now. It's not really a challenge, and so doing something that really forced me out of my box was so so so refreshing. With knitting, I am once I finish the construction of the piece. With ceramics, construction is only the beginning. Once you are done building then you have two firings to do, and disasters and calamities galore lurk inside the kiln. Talk about a frustrating paradigm shift! That took some getting used to. I would put a beautiful, masterfully hand crafted piece into the kiln, only to pull it out cracked and beaten. Of course, with this trial came the lesson of fixing. Which I am a MASTER of!

Oooh, look at that nasty crack

Crack-B-Gon, sucka!

Ok, well maybe not a master. But I actually ended up making a bunch of pieces that I am really proud of. I pretty much had the idea that my end products from this class would make great additions to my Mom's curio cabinet, but now I want to keep every single one. They are magnificent!

My first project of the class, resplendent with teeny feet

I accidentally made a cool coral shape, so I ran with that in the glazing.

This is an abstraction of an animal, can you guess which?
Hint: The piece is called 'Odette.'

These pictures are of my favorite project from the semester. The assignment was to create a trompe l'oeil piece, as realistically rendered as possible. Our teacher created a premise about sacred burial rites, and we were to choose an object to recreate that we could have cross into the afterlife with us. The clear choice was Corey, but how could I represent him? I struggled with that for days, wandering around our apartment picking up every smallish item we own and examining it for potential clay-creation. You like that? Yeah I just made it up. :) Anyway, I chose to do Corey's beloved FSU hat, since he wears it 8 out of 10 days and was wearing it during almost all of our big milestones. I was worried because I knew it would be a lot of work, but I made myself do it anyway. I'm glad that I did.

Here's the hat at about 60% done. I don't have any before that because I was in deep focus land.

I experienced heartbreak and disaster when the back half of the hat broke off in the kiln, through no fault of my own. This is a particularly frustrating part of ceramics. Someone else's project shattered in the kiln, and a piece of shrapnel landed on my hat and caused a stress fracture. Luckily it was a clean break and I was able to break out my trusty PC-11 epoxy and glue 'er back together. I was bummed at first because this meant I wouldn't be able to glaze the hat, but after painting it I'm glad. I love the way the paint is rough and worn looking, it actually looks truer to the distressed nature of the real hat than any glaze could have. Hooray for happy accidents!

I brushed on light layer upon light layer of watered down paint to get the desired look.

Thar she blows!

So, final verdict: A+ would take again. Haha. I loved the class, I'm bummed it's over, and I'm seriously considering taking another ceramics class in the near future. Not this year, though...I think I'm taking a break from school until after our wedding. I've been going full steam full schedule for quite some time now, and the thought of an extended break sounds absolutely loverly. We can talk about that in another post. :)

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