container and bowl, green and blue glaze
there was a year when i was going to be a potter. it was 2002 or 2003, and i was trying to find my craft: bookbinding was still a passion, but i figured that i would be more likely to make a living from creating functional pottery.

sugar bowl, deep bowl, shallow bowl... shino glaze?
so i took a beginners course at northern clay center. i was self employed and wasn’t very busy at the time so i was able to go in and practice during open studio hours a couple times a week.

bowls... double dipped in blue glazes
after one quarter, i still wasn’t completely confident in my ability to center the clay on the wheel. so i repeated the course for another quarter.

tea pot, bowl... shino glaze
and then i repeated it again for a third quarter. after 9 months, i still struggled with centering. and i began to hear horror stories about how hot the clay center got in summer months when the kilns were running. so i stopped taking courses. (also, around that time, i had stopped seeing a boy that wanted to live off the land. i had crazy fantasies about the two of us, in the middle of the prairie, me working in an old barn converted into a pottery studio, while he worked the earth. when the relationship fizzled out, so did the potter-in-the-barn fantasy.)

coffee cup, container, bowl... green glaze
reading a recent post about pottery tools had me searching the house for the few pieces i kept from that time that i was proud of. and seeing all of them now, i realize that i wasn’t a terrible potter. yes, my coffee cups were half the size they should be, and my bowls were really thick at the bottom and super-thin at the top because i couldn’t pull the clay evenly… but i was pretty good at finishing pieces and experimenting with glazes.

it’d be hard to fit pottery into my life now. my work-life is vastly different than it was back then. but maybe it’s something i can forward to doing again some day… maybe mr right has an empty barn…

happy weekend!

16 responses to “pottery”

  1. jess says:

    I wanted to be a potter too! Maybe you don’t need Mr. Right to have a barn. We could start a Women’s Arts Collective and get our own barn!

  2. Fiona says:

    Those are really good. Take it up again. I flirted with pottery once and guess what my triumph was? A giant hare! Unfortunately it’s long gone to the frost.

  3. jenn says:

    beautiful, and jess is right. you don’t need mr. right to have a barn…

  4. heather says:

    beautiful. i love your pieces.

  5. Anna says:

    They look like wonderful pieces! It’s completely normal to take that class several times. I think I took it 2 or 3 times but my pieces were never as nice as yours. Certainly I didn’t manage any matching lids. And yes, your finishing is quite nice. I hope it wasn’t I that discouraged the summer course and contributed to you stopping. Although I’m sure I probably did as I HATED taking a class there in the summer. Completely stifling. But, keep in mind, I don’t take heat well at all. Hence the preference for winter over summer.

  6. jackie says:

    Seriously, I have wanted to start an Art Coop type thingy – 100 acres, barn studios and housing, chickens, and gardens, and goats. You can make the pottery to hold the fresh goat cheese and fresh herb omelets!!
    If Mr. Right shows up he can live there too!

  7. cindy says:

    i can imagine you living a little house on the prairie existence on the weekends only! and, as with all you do, your pottery is wonderful. i love the shapes and the colors. it feels very japanese to me, which is so appropriate in light of the earthquake/tsunami today.

  8. Regina says:

    Better than my stint in pottery! There’s some nice pieces there!

  9. shona~ lala dex press says:

    Yes, your pottery is beautiful, you certainly could have been a success with your pottery barn (no pun intended). I made 3 attempts, all with poor results. I got A’s in my classes for effort and enthusiasm, but pottery (both wheel and hand building) was not my thing- books and printing most definately were. After my last sem. with pottery I took all my projects, dug a big hole in the back yard (of my rented house) and burried everything. I figured one day someone would dig them up and wonder what the ?????

  10. Danielle says:

    I too have dreamed of being a potter and having an old run down barn with a pottery wheel in it… You’re pottery is much prettier then anything I’ve ever done, I’d say you are already a potter. Wonderful pieces!

  11. Ayama says:

    wow your pottery is amazing and don’t give up on that dream. :D

  12. la ninja says:

    miss thing, some of these are seriously beautiful.
    pottery door ajar, good plan. one never knows…

  13. Lynn says:

    Love it all!!!!

  14. jenna says:

    i love throwing, and totally miss pottery!

    your pots look great! i’m especially envious of your mad mug skillz.

  15. annieB says:

    heh heh – I too am a thwarted ceramicist. We should set up a self-help group! I love your fantasy of life on the land – I’m going through a phase of that right now. Hope you do find your big empty barn someday, whether there is a Mr Right attached or not ;-)

  16. julia says:

    oh i love your stuff! i wanted to be a potter too (back in high school), and i’m pretty proud of the few pieces i have saved from the classes i took back then. i’d love to take another class. though, i don’t think this year is the year for that!

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