National DIY Day Logo 2017

For National DIY Day – which is today btw – I thought I’d show my latest DIY/Craft obsession: Pottery.

Granted, unless you use air dry clay, this isn’t really a DIY you can do at home, but I want to encourage you to try something new, something outside of your comfort zone…

for me that was pottery.

Much like every other woman in the world, curiosity about wheel turning and building things from clay began with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore in Ghost – paper crafting and building with 2×4’s just don’t lend themselves as well to romance. (Baking maybe?)

Back in February I signed up – on a whim – to take my first ever pottery class.

Pottery, learning pottery, learning the potter's wheel, london potter's guild, wheel turning, National DIY Day

This was the first pot I ever turned, but by the end of that first class I had made these:

Pottery, learning pottery, learning the potter's wheel, london potter's guild, wheel turning, National DIY Day

Nothing spectacular – but I did it myself!

Learning pottery, particularly the wheel, can’t be done in a single class.  Beyond the (large) learning curve, you have to take into account the steps required to make a single piece:

  1. turning your bowl or cup or plate
  2. air-drying to a semi-solid state
  3. trimming your “leather-hard” piece with tools
  4. firing the piece in the kiln to a ‘bisque’ state
  5. glazing/staining your piece
  6. firing a second time in the kiln to set the glaze.

I didn’t realize there were so many steps involved – I thought you went wheel, paint, oven, done.  Because of all the steps involved, most wheel-turning classes will take a minimum of 6 weeks – but trust me, even 6 weeks won’t be enough once you get started.

Pottery, learning pottery, learning the potter's wheel, london potter's guild, wheel turning, National DIY Day

There is art and technique and creativity in every step too.  Trimming your pottery, which involves using metal tools to trim edges, poke holes, cut notches, carve shapes etc – is an entirely separate creative experience.

Then painting your pottery – whether with stain or glaze – again allows you to experiment and create your own unique masterpieces.

Pottery, learning pottery, learning the potter's wheel, london potter's guild, wheel turning, National DIY Day

Okay, masterpieces might be a stretch in my case – but there are some pieces I made during my course/classes that I am just tickled-pink with, like my precious berry-bowl:

Pottery, learning pottery, learning the potter's wheel, london potter's guild, wheel turning, National DIY Day

My teacher had to help a bit with this one (thank you Pauline!) because I am not very good at getting the sides of my pottery to rise any higher than an M&M dish.

Look at this!  Form and function!

Rinse your berries, veggies, kidney beans etc and then keep the bowl out to serve or use as decor.

Pottery, learning pottery, learning the potter's wheel, london potter's guild, wheel turning, National DIY Day, berry bowl

Think pottery is all about mugs?

Truthfully, I couldn’t make a single mug (they’re hard!) but I did make a chip and dip plate.

Pottery, learning pottery, learning the potter's wheel, london potter's guild, wheel turning, National DIY Day, chip and dip plate

Love, love, LOVE pottery!

I will confess, after my 9-week pottery course I did come home with more than a few M&M dishes / succulent planters – like 9 of them – but it was fun and frustrating and relaxing and taxing and creative and technical all at the same time.

Pottery, learning pottery, learning the potter's wheel, london potter's guild, wheel turning, National DIY Day

In celebration of National DIY Day I urge you to take a chance and try something new, be it pottery, papercrafting, building, learning the lathe, gardening, glass blowing – whatever it is that has piqued your curiosity and will allow you to express your creativity…

You won’t regret a single minute of it – I promise.

Happy National DIY Day!

As a National DIY DAY ambassador I am proud to support AdoptAClassroom.org and their mission to give teachers a hand by providing much-needed classroom materials so that their students can learn and succeed. National DIY DAY and 100Things2Do.ca are committed to supporting classrooms and providing tools for students and teachers to enhance the creative learning experience.

AdoptAClassroom.org, National DIY Day

Support AdoptAClassroom.org by Texting a Donation Today! Text the word “Give” to (678) 582-8594 and you will be prompted through a secure system to make a donation of your choice! 

Have a great one!