Tuesday, January 26, 2010

pottery #2

Today I went back to Patti's studio to practice cylindrical shapes. Today was the first time I was truly independent. I started out by combining clay and wedging them into cone shapes. I have been practicing a form of wedging called 'ram's horn.' I felt the most comfortable wedging today out of the three times.
I started out throwing smaller amounts of clay (1 1/2-2 lbs) but last time I threw some that were between 2 1/2-3 lbs. Today I decided to do more that size. For a beginner like me some of these wedges seem immense but master potters threw much larger pieces of clay.
Today I got to threw 5 pieces practicing the cylindrical shape. I felt very comfortable with the clay and could easily critique what I was doing wrong and how to adjust it. My 4th piece (see picture) was the best one I have done yet. I was able to pull the walls up about 2 inches! I also was introduced to the saying, 'It takes a thousand pots to make a potter.' I have made 22 so far! Ha ha!

I reflected on God creating humanity today as my hands were covered in slurry (excess clay). I thought about God's hands dripping with slurry as he paused to admire Adam. I thought about how God breathed into Adam's nostrils the breath of life. Woah! Imagine if you were throwing a piece of clay, shaping it in your image and then could breath life into it?! For me it is wonderful to think about God breathing new life into us each day by his Spirit. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. Each day we need Jesus to breathe his life into us that we can be image bearers in this world.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I started a pottery internship and decided to make this a poetry and pottery blog. So, he is my first pottery entry and pictures.
I have the privilege of learning the art of pottery with my friend Patti Olson. It is a wonderful opportunity and i am very excited. I feel alive and awake again for the first time in a long time. Working with my hands to build something out of a lump of clay is amazing.
As a Christian, Patti believes pottery is an act of prayer. Thus learning from her is an act of prayer. I meditate on different Scriptures and pray while wedging clay and throwing. One thing that she recommended was coming to the wheel with peace not anxiety, frustration or anger. These will show in the pieces you throw. This connected with me on a deep level as a new parent. If i come to parenting with anger or frustration it will show in my son. Viewing Shiloh as a piece of clay to be shaped or molded in love, calmness and peace is very helpful.
Thus far i have had two lessons with Patti. The first was basic knowledge of clay and throwing. The second lesson was recapping throwing basics and talking about the three basic shapes: cylinder/cup, bowl and plate. I learned the cylinder/cup and threw 8 pieces and kept the best. I learned a little bit of how to trim as well.
Check back here for updates and photos. I am absolutely thrilled at learning this skill and cannot wait to learn more with my dad who is a potter. Enjoy the pictures!