Clay Class Continued

Last week marked the end of my wheelthrowing class!  I accomplished quite a bit of artistry in the past seven weeks, but it certainly flew by.  I had some frustrating moments during the second half of my class as I craved to build larger and more desirable pieces, yet couldn’t seem to master the basics such as centering.  Sometimes I was so over-eager to build colossal bowls and delicious mugs that I rushed through the centering stage, which of course caused my pieces to collapse.  But I learned to be more patient and enjoy the process of centering and the feel of the clay on my hands, with less preoccupation with the final product.

Throwing a bowl.  This is the B Mix clay, a lighter version of the Death Valley and a good clay for beginners.
Working on a mug with a handle.
Trimming another handled mug.  I learned that the Death Valley clay develops a rough skin after trimming.  We'll see how it turns out with glaze...

Shaping my first flower pot.
Waxing and glazing a few bowls and a mug.

Here is the high fire kiln, where the pieces go after glazing.

One of the things I loved about taking a pottery class was watching my classmates around me work on their wheels and be inspired by their ideas.  Several of my dedicated, creative classmates made some really amazing pieces of art.  I hope I can become that skilled someday!   However, I was also inspired by the creative ideas that my comrades created in the aftermath of mistakes.  I watched one of my classmates design a totally unique, asymmetrical coffee mug when the figure she was throwing became lopsided.  She carved some beautiful designs in it and made something different than anyone else.  Another classmate of mine was working on a gigantic bowl that became so off centered and disastrous that I would have destroyed it for sure, but she ended up making a really unconventional and artsy piece with tons of character.  (I mean that in a good way.)  It’s a good reminder that creativity often arises when a piece doesn’t go as planned, and perfection doesn’t really mean a whole lot when it comes to art.

Here are a few of my finished pieces...

This is one of my favorite bowls!  It's Death Valley clay with Blue Jean glaze on the outside and Blue Grey on the inside...

And a view of the Blue Grey inside.

This was my largest bowl that didn't become a flower pot.  I mixed Blue Jean and Khaki on the outside.  I love how it turned out!

Same bowl with Blue Jean inside.

This was a little salsa/guacamole dish.  It turned out smaller than I expected, but I love this Woods Blue glaze.

Trying something different!  This is the Aviva Blue glaze.  I love how the texture is visible through the glaze.

Flower Pot with Khaki and Reitz Green around the rim.

Inside of the flower pot.  I'm not sure if I really like this look, but I guess it will be filled with dirt soon so it doesn't matter!

Flower Pot with Reitz Green and Blue Jean around the rim.  My only disappointment is that I had written some words around the rim and the glaze completely covered them up.  Oh well!  I guess that's part of the learning process with glazes.  Maybe my intentions will still shine through.

Inside of the flower pot.  I really like these colors together!

My first mug with a handle!  I love the shape of this one.  However, it shrunk a lot.  Also, I used a Blue Jean glaze that really only showed up on the inside of the handle.  I'm thinking the glaze wasn't mixed well enough.  These glazes are so unpredictable sometimes.

My mug in action!

Even though my class is over for this semester, I still have at least 10 pieces in the kiln... so stay tuned for more clay creations!


  1. I can't wait to have one of your creations in my house :)

  2. Betsy,
    You did a beautiful job explaining the process! Your creations are lovely! How fun it must have been.


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