Lessons

May 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last week I managed to spend some part of three consecutive days at Kirkgate Studios: Tuesday afternoon, all of Wednesday and an hour on Thursday.

The privilege was to have the days consecutively as that meant that I could use the second day to turn anything made on the first. This opportunity is a rare occurrence, as usually everything has to be finished on the day. Although, thinking about it, pots do dry quickly at Kirkgate being in the same room as the kiln, which is often running, so I could, I imagine, throw some bowls in the morning and turn them towards late afternoon. But the magic of last week was the mindset of knowing I was going in two days in a row (the Thursday was an added bonus). It’s such a small thing but to someone who practises little, and who wants to do more, it means much.

I kept five of the bowls from Tuesday and learnt a valuable lesson.

Drying bowls appear hard but actually are very fragile! I was in the habit of picking the bowls up by the lip in a carefree manner and picked one of them up one too many times snapping a large chunk out if it. It was frustrating, as the bowl had come out reasonably well, but it was a good lesson to learn. So, now four remain, which I am looking forward to glazing. I am thinking of a smooth, shiny, white interior and a matt exterior, maybe white or leaden grey (there was a fantastic sky this evening before the rains came).

Reading this month’s Ceramic Review I saw a beautiful row of cups (looking at his website they might be shots) made by Gary Wood and spent the hour on Thursday being inspired by them. I love them and will keep practising until I get somewhere near. If you haven’t seen his work I urge you to take a look at his website. The palette he uses and textures he creates are stunning.

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