knitxcore.: intro to ceramics: day one.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

intro to ceramics: day one.


On Tuesday, I had my first Introduction to Ceramics class. I was excited, but now I have sort of mixed feelings.

Let me start at the beginning:

We had to go to the campus bookstore to buy the enormous block of specially mixed clay (it takes longer to dry). It only weighed about 25 pounds, but it was enough to make me struggle. I walked over to the store with this giant military guy who took the class because he thought it would be easy, which is fine; no big deal. Embarrassed, I tried so hard to be a tough guy and lift the clay sort of nonchalantly. I couldn't. I ended pushing the big block of clay across the floor with my foot, like a really heavy soccer ball. Giant military guy did the same thing, he probably felt bad for me.

I struggled with the block as I bought a bottle of soy milk and an apple in the cafeteria. after putting my lil' snack into my backpack I carefully carried my block of clay with both hands back to class. Exhausted, I dropped it onto the table as soon as I walked in the door to the ceramics room. I was already defeated.

Our first project was to make a very simple pinch pot. For those of you not familiar, a pinch pot is made by rolling clay into a ball and pinching it into the shape of a vessel using your thumb and forefinger. Seems pretty simple, right?


I tried FIVE times, before I had a pot that I hadn't stuck my thumbnail through and it still looked pretty sad. (It's actually the picture on the right if you want to see). I look across the room and GMG (Giant Military Guy) has the best looking pinch pot in the room. Seriously, this thing looked like it was store bought. Now, when we first started class, I assumed this guy was going to be awful; he'd probably drop the class because it's lame or something. He's not an "art guy".


I studied his technique, and the sixth pot I made was actually acceptable.

I actually learned two lessons this week; people aren't as one-dimensional as I think they are and it's really effing hard to make a clay pot.


Marquesa Jen said...

Hey, at least you're learning! I don't think many people would've thought to observe someone else. Clay is fickle because so many things affect it- your body heat, moisture, outside heat/cold, the batch of clay itself. You should see some of the bowls I made on the pottery wheel, they're practically weapons they're so heavy because I was scared to make them too thin!

Hang in there!

Erin Joy said...

Lesson #3: you can't be good at everything on the first try! Keep at it and you'll be the envy of the ceramics department.

Lisa said...

Pinch pots are *hard*! But I think yours looks pretty good ^_^ I can't wait to see more of your creations - I love ceramics and your pretty things will help motivate me to sign up for a class myself! ^_^

Sian Lile said...

oh. i love this post! poor robbie and the giant clay bag! maybe GMG will be your new best friend?
the pinch pot looks pretty good to me.x

Inthesky said...

lol, you gave me a chuckle here. Well done for trying a new class, you never know you may be a natural. I tried a pottery class many moons ago, it wasn't for me. I made little tiny hedgehogs when everyone else was making pots! It is one of those things that look easy but...wrong! There are some very skilled artists out there. Yarn is much more portable than a huge block of clay!

Mr J said...

hahahah.. funny lessons. I lmao when I read GMG. Well, at least you were better by the end of the class. I'm sure you'll improve loads!

littlebirdbigcity said...

Don't give up! If I'd given up the first time I tried watercolors I'd never be where I'm at right now. Things are often hard the first time, you have to give your hands and mind time to adjust to the new material. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it in no time and you'll be loving every minute of it.

Grateful4Crochet said...

Just think how boring it would be if you mastered clay immediately. Imagine how thrilling it will be when you finally get it!
And yes, i am also keen for you and GMG to become BFF and open a pottery studio together!

Katie and Reuben said...

Awwww, hehe! Couldn't help giggling at this post. You are so cute. I'm sure your pinch pot wasn't nearly as terrible as you thought, and even if it was it doesn't matter - that's why you are taking a class! Loved your point about people not being as one dimensional as they seem. First impressions can be so wrong!

Katie x

Anastasia said...

OMG CLAY SUCKS RIGHT?? It took me ages to be able to even understand it. I wanna try again soon. Keep at it tho! Within a month I went from the ugliest pinch pots to a nice ceramic cow with wings, glazed and all hm hm. C:

eliza said...

i'm terrible at ceramics! just awful. but i really loved it. advanced playing-in-mud. i hope you get into it! if not because you make anything pretty, at least because it's just so fun to really get your hands into it! on a side note, do you watch community? there's an episode about this exact thing... this clip kind of hints at it:

Paula McGrath said...

ha - hilarious!

Julie said...

Pinch pots are really hard to make! It's hard to believe that they are still one of the first clay projects that young children are supposed to be able to do.

Marouane B. said...

Great dose of inspiration I got from your blog ! Loved it ! I am totally following ! Hope you do the same if like my blog :