Sunday, January 13, 2013

Handling Clay

Pottery has to be the most calming yet fulfilling handicraft I've dealt with.  We worked with clay once a week, completing one project at each sit-down session.  I first made a phone call to our local studio (Wild Ginger Studios) to ask questions about firing and handling finished clay.  I hadn't realized our clay would need to be fired in a kiln and not in our oven.  But the studio does outside firings and the owner gave great advice about how to make and transport our pieces.

The kids loved the squishing and molding.  Jonathan (7) and Phoebe (5) needed more help shaping their pieces.  Some of their pieces turned out better than their mother's though!  You have to work fast and keep clay covered with plastic or the clay will dry out (a few squirts from the water bottle returns moisture).  We learned three techniques: pinch pot, coil pot, and slab pots.  It felt so professional to use the tools.  Elizabeth had a special artsy outfit she would wear for each session. 

There is a definite mess to clean up at the end!  


But the clay wipes up easily.  The tools get washed and everything put back into a box.  The whole process makes me happy; I may have discovered a new fulfilling interest.  Maybe it takes me back to my childhood days of playing in the mud.  At any rate, this has been a pleasant experience for the whole family.  We plan to continue the projects in the kit with the upcoming school year.  I'm on the search for more clay nearby (shipping about doubles the price).   Painting and firing our pots come next.  

Handling Clay


  1. I love playing with clay. I took a 2-year art intensive in high school, a depressing number of years ago, and I have never put in so many hours voluntarily at a studio before! It just feels so good!

    1. Love it, Erin! I would really like to pursue some studio lessons using the wheel. And we have a closer studio now that we've moved!