If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I recently signed up for a clay/ceramics class at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. I’ve been wanting to take this class for years and finally one day decided to sign up – wow am I glad I did! After doing clay class in high school, and then as an elective in college it is SO GOOD to get back to it. I have had to remind myself of a lot, and am learning new things (like the variety of underglazes).
Between class on Monday and open studio on Saturday I get to spend 5 hours a week working on clay projects. I am tempted to call out sick every Wednesday to go to open studio then, too.
This class is for doing tiles, mosaics, and hand-building (as opposed to using the pottery wheel). Check out what I’ve been up to!!
I made these tiles with the idea that I will grout them into either the black-splash of my future (far future) kitchen, or put them in the base of a serving tray. I used various objects to make impressions in the wet clay – a honey dipper, a branch from old hemlocks on Orchard Beach planted by Hidee, shells, and alphabet pasta (that will burn off in the kiln).
STENCIL and HAND-BUILDING
I used the rose stencil that I am obsessed with and made a 3-D tile with it. I traced the stencil, then traced it again and cut out the pieces and used slip to attach them. I let it dry to leather-hard and carved away the messiness, smoothing the curves and edges. I am really excited to start painting/glazing this one!
One of my favorite way to work with clay is getting it into a shape, letting it dry to leather-hard and then carving it. I could sit for HOURS and carve away at something I am making. Carving on a flat surface, sort of like drawing on a piece of paper like I did with this peacock feather trivet is ok, but I really like carving and sculpting in the 3-D with leather-hard (see the rose stencil above). Notice the different widths of texture and lines in this peacock feather. I am really excited to make everything pop with lots of vibrant color – which you can do with low-fire clay and glazes such as this, (as opposed to high-fire which is heated to a higher temperature with less variety of vibrant colors.)
Stay tuned for updates of what things look like as they come out of the kiln and get all glazed up!