February 13, 2010

Pottery class 1

Our neighbor Diane had met ceramicists Tim and Pam Ballingham at a party over the holidays and was intrigued by their work and their knowledge of the way the native Americans worked clay. Rather than going to a workshop in Tucson, she decided to get some of her friends together for a personalized one at her and Jim's home.

Dan and I signed up, and today was the first day of a 2 1/2 day pottery event. I learned a lot, and my head is a bit aswim because I am not familiar with clay or pottery at all. We used two techniques, pinch and coil, to make two projects that we dried out on the veranda in the beautiful weather.

In the afternoon we also learned burnishing and working with slips (colored, diluted clays) to decorate. We brought home 3 different kinds of clay (white, red and chocolate brown) to make additional projects during the week that we will bring back next Saturday to be fired in a pit in the Brower's old horse corral, the way the Indians used to do it and the way it is still done in Mata Ortiz in Mexico.

It was fun to work with clay, in spite of the fact that things never turn out the way I intended them to be. The pot I made will be great accompaniment to the 1958 ashtray Dan made in Cub Scouts. But some people did turn out some very nice projects. Perhaps I need more practice.

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