Have you ever thrown a pot? I hadn't until a few months ago, when my brother-in-law gave Jim and I a session as a joint birthday present, and it was THE BEST FUN!
Backing up a bit, all three of us had enjoyed watching The Great Pottery Throw Down on BBC back in the autumn, and we'd been very taken with the show. It's the pottery take on The Great British Bake Off, and was surprisingly addictive watching. We soon got into a nice routine, and placed bets on whose work would make the lovely presenter Keith Brymer Jones cry. He was rather prone to being overcome by the contestants' feel for the clay! So when Ed gave us a voucher for the two of us to have a private throwing lesson at Enigma Pottery in Frome, we were both really excited about it.
I've been trying to find some words to describe how much we both enjoyed ourselves, and to be honest I'm struggling a bit!
There was something really magical about the feeling of the clay in our hands, and the air of quiet concentration as we both tried to make something functional.
Jim in particular seemed to find a sort of meditative state, and created some great shapes. Our tutor, Jenny Barton, explained everything calmly and clearly, although we failed to bring a tear to her eye over our feel for the clay. We clearly need a bit more practice! We both left the workshop feeling that we might build a special pottery shed in the garden. We really did enjoy it a great deal!
Our 2 hour workshop included the firing of 4 pots each, so here they are waiting for glazing and the kiln. Can you guess who made what?
Then we had the exciting phone call about 10 days later to say that our pots were ready! I bet you can guess which are mine now...
Yes, that's right! The teal pots are mine. We chose glazes from swatches in the workshop, but I hadn't really understood the difference between the two types of glaze. Mine have a very high gloss finish, where Jim's are more grainy - an effect I really love.
In total I made a bowl for breakfast, a coffee mug, a jug and a small vase.
All four of my pots have been in use since we collected them - here's the vase with some tulips in my office. I am still surprised that we made such useful pots at our first try.
Jim made 3 pots and a mug with this lovely deep blue glaze, and he too has enjoyed many cups of coffee from his new mug.
If you have the opportunity to try throwing pots on a wheel, I highly recommend it! It's definitely top of my Christmas list this year.
Which new crafts would you like to try your hand at?
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Images © Jen Arnall-Culliford