I went to a pottery class today! Well, not so much of a class as a private wheel lesson which I think, honestly, ended up being better. It was at the Tidnish Art Gallery, in Tidnish Bridge, about a 40 min drive from here. The gallery open in the summer and is run by 8 local artists and Thursday is pottery day! They were having a two week handbuiling workshop but it was full by the time I found out about it so they offered that I could do a wheel class with the other potter.
It was really good and challenging. The instructor was not as much of a "let's appreciate the flaws" person
as the instructor in Toronto so he only wanted me to keep the
near-perfect bowls even though the ones he deemed 'not worth it' looked good
to me. He taught me a lot of new tricks which was excellent, it's
amazing how much you can learn when someone is watching over you to tell
you everything you're doing wrong.
We never really specified a time so I wasn't sure how long I was suppose to stay but after about two and half hours, my back and shoulders had had enough. However, by the time I had everything cleaned up, the pieces which had been drying in the sun were solid enough to trim up. So I spend another hour learning about trimming up the bases. During the trimming process I took out the bottoms of two of the bowls but such is life. I'm really bad about knowing when to stop and think "just a little bit more" before poking through the bottom.
The first day of both the children's and adult's handbuilding workshop happened while I was there and it did look like a lot of fun. They don't have the same molds and equipment as the Gardiner Museum but they seemed to be getting by with what they have. Most of the people had never worked with clay before so everyone was super relaxed and friendly (except for one kid who refused to touch the clay because it felt 'weird' and she didn't want to 'get her hands dirty'. The instructor used me as an example of "look how much fun Allison is having with clay all over her." It was true, I am not a clean clay person. There was clay everywhere by the end, my legs, my clothes, my hair...but yet, for some reason, it did not inspire the kid to get messy)
My pieces are off to their kiln whenever there is a spot. It was all very unstructured and obviously the workshop group get first kiln priority as they need to be ready for next week. The instructor did say that they're making stuff on their own right now so it shouldn't take too long for a second kiln firing to happen. Then I get to glaze things!
Afterward, I drove back to Amherst to pick up some groceries feeling super relaxed and (even though life has not been super stressful lately) de-stressed. There is something about getting my hands dirty and having clay in my hair that makes everything seem okay.