Another item was checked off my bucket list as I took pottery lessons from Julie at the Fountain City Arts Center in Knoxville, Tennessee in January 2017.
The first lesson I learned about various tools, how to work the clay to get rid of bubbles, how to center it on the wheel, how to control the speed of the wheel, and how to open up the center and shape the clay.
The second lesson was refining the pottery after it had dried for a week. I learned how to make an edge on the bottom so it wouldn’t stick to the kiln. Julie was making the pitcher as a demo and I made the ashtray. A handle for the pitcher was harder to do than it looks. (In fact, making pottery is a LOT harder than it looks). Julie was a good instructor and is a very accomplished potter (and crocheter.) I learned how to score the pitcher to get my oversized handle to attach and how to make impressions. A fun part was signing my name 🙂 Julie then brought them over to Mighty Mud Pottery Studio/Gallery. Knoxville, TN for firing in their kiln.
Our third class was at Mighty Mud where I picked out glaze colors. The glazes were in 20 gallon buckets and had to be stirred with a plunger with a hole cut out. I dipped the pitcher for 4 seconds . After it dried for several minutes I dipped it into another color. The ashtray I dipped in black and then painted blue glaze on to get a drip pattern.
Back to the kiln and voilà- my first pottery was done! It is waterproof and dishwasher safe.
We are now moving to another state park, but I am glad we were at Roan Mountain State Park for month, not only to enjoy this beautiful state park – with the Doe River a few yards from out tent- but to take pottery lessons from Julie. I have plans to continue learning this wonderful craft.