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. With anything new, you’re not going to know everything about it straightaway. This is why doing a bit of research into whatever you want to take up as a new hobby is important. There are no limitations to what you can try, it’s all up to you. If you’re as curious about pottery as I was, what I found useful was looking into learning how to make pottery would be a good place to start. It’s seems the most obvious place to start and sometimes the most obvious place is the right one. There are so many videos and tutorials out there on this topic that will help get you up to speed with the basics. You never know, this may end up being an activity that you may end up loving!
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.
This was the first pot I ever turned, but by the end of that first class I had made these:
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:
- turning your bowl or cup or plate
- air-drying to a semi-solid state
- trimming your “leather-hard” piece with tools
- firing the piece in the kiln to a ‘bisque’ state
- glazing/staining your piece
- 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 an
Have a great one!