Monday, February 06, 2017

Madison Mud: Beginner's Session

Just before Thanksgiving, my sister and I signed up to do a pottery wheel class at Madison Mud. My coworker did the early fall session and loved it and brought in some of her pieces. The mugs she'd made were so gorgeous and she was raving about it so much that I decided that I had to give it a go too.

Mel, the owner and one of the teachers, is an amazing lady. She's really business-minded (she owns multiple businesses), she's a crazy talented potter, she's smart, she's funny, and she's really sweet.
The class is lots of fun and you really learn how to make usable, functional, beautiful pieces. I wanted to share some photos I took throughout the classes. Obviously I couldn't take as many photos as I wanted because 90% of the time I was soaked in clay, but I did as much as I could.
We started by weighing the clay and then forming balls by slapping the pieces into shape.
For our first project, we made pinch pots.
I made a pig bowl.
The first skill we learned on the wheel was the cylinder.
We obviously got quite messy in class.
After the cylinders dried out a bit, we trimmed the bottoms. The goal was to trim enough so that in the end, the piece felt lighter than it looked.
After the pieces were trimmed, we added handles.
After they dried out, the pieces were fired and then glazed. For our first session we used the dipping glazes.
This is my first and favorite mug. I was trying to mimic a foamy hot chocolate with this glaze combination.
We were told to jot down what glazes we used so we could figure out what worked and what didn't.
After cylinders, we learned to throw bowls.
We learned the technique of "sgraffito" which is when you glaze not-yet-fired clay and then carve a design into it. Then it's fired and then you seal it with a clear glaze and fire it a final time.
My sister and I had so much fun. We've signed up for a second session and I can't wait to share the new creations we make. If you live in Morris County, I highly recommend you go and try the wheel. There are several different classes and workshops on offer. And come on, aren't you just the slightest bit impressed by what I've made?

xoxo.

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